In April, Sheffield Theatres invited me to join their brand new writer’s group. Overjoyed and daunted, I turned up for our first meeting on 5th May.
We are six writers from across the north – meet us here. Our monthly meetings are facilitated by playwright Chris Bush and Sheffield Theatres new work co-ordinator Ruby Clark, with visiting tutors delivering masterclasses. Over the next six months, we’ll each write a new play.
At our first meeting, Rob Hastie, Artistic Director, welcomed us with an inspiring talk about how writers sit at the heart of theatre-making, and his intention to support emerging writers more at Sheffield. At our second meeting on 26th May, Kate Wasserberg, Artistic Director, Out of Joint, ran a masterclass about what makes a brilliant script, how writers can navigate theatre commissioning processes, and how to take notes from directors. Solid gold.
Chris and Ruby have shared stories and tools, challenged us with writing exercises, and provided invaluable feedback on the plays we’re developing.
Already I’ve learned so much, leaving my comfort zone far behind…
At the meeting on 26th May, I had to pitch my new play to the group. I was nervous. My precious new idea. Still fragile. Vulnerable, like tender green shoots. Usually I’d never let an idea out in public so young. But I did it. I talked through the themes I want to explore, the characters I want to build, and the worlds I want to create. I received helpful feedback, bags of encouragement, and great suggestions to explore.
I loved to hear about the plays my fellow writers are developing. By October, our group will have six exciting new stories written into life.
We’re one month in, with five months to go. So much learning, writing, and creative collaboration awaits…