I have just completed ‘Write Away‘, a ten week course for developing playwrights, run by Birmingham Rep. I’ve never been very sociable as a writer – it may be one of the reasons that I am a writer – but I have had a fantastic time.
The theatre sees the course as the beginning of a conversation. I have completed a ten minute play and will have a script-in-hand reading in the autumn. This will be a chance to work with a director and actors and to hear my work performed. Will it lead to anything further? That is down to what opportunities come up and my own ability to take them.
What I have gained most is a group of friends who are also writers. I’ve tried writing groups in the past, but haven’t found anything that quite matched what I wanted to do. Although as a group we were at different places, talking about writing and exploring ideas and approaches together has given us a solid base to build on.
Write Away is run yearly by the rep (click on the link for more information). To get on to the programme you have to complete a one day workshop (called, appropriately enough, ‘Play in a Day’). This is a valuable experience in itself. After a few hours’ of tuition, participants are given the chance to write a first draft and hand it in. This isn’t as hard as it sounds and no one is expected to write Hamlet.
I would recommend it anyone who is serious about writing drama. It probably helps to have already written something and to have some ideas about character and structure, but you’ve nothing to lose if you give it a go.