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Coventry theatre in call for budding playwrights

WRITERS WANTED: The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry

PRODUCERS AT Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre have launched a new programme in a bid to find new writing talent.

Critical Mass, an 11-week playwriting programme that runs at the theatre from September to December is aimed at finding new black and minority ethnic (BME) writers over the age of 18.

Now in its fourth year, Critical Mass gives students the opportunity to write a complete play while learning essential skills such as developing characters and plots.

Leon Phillips, the Belgrade’s drama worker for BME communities, said: “Critical Mass is an excellent programme for new writers. It allows you to develop your writing skills alongside a group of like-minded people who are mostly at the same level as you.

“Some previous participants have gone on to have their work preformed on the Belgrade stage in the form of rehearsed readings, and we’ve invited participants back to write plays for our youth groups, again having their original pieces performed on the Belgrade stage.”

The Belgrade Community & Education Company has an extensive track record in representing the diversity of Coventry’s communities. Among the theatre’s previous productions are Hussan and Harry (2005), a play about experiences of warfare, The First Time I Saw Snow (2008), and a theatre-in-education tour about new incoming communities, as well as smaller-scale collaborations with grassroots BME organisations such as Black Boys Can.

People who want to apply for this year’s Critical Mass programme should submit up to 10 pages of writing intended for performance on stage.

The work does not have to be a full play. Judges say it can take the form of a few scenes but they want entrants to submit the most gripping part of their story.

The deadline for submissions is July 19. Entries can be handed in at the theatre box office, clearly marked as Critical Mass Submission, or they can be sent to Leon Phillips either by email at leonphillips@belgrade.co.uk or via post to Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS.

You can also visit the theatre’s website at www.belgrade.co.uk for further details.

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