Home New Writing for Theatre Project: Call for Emerging Playwrights from Palestine

New Writing for Theatre Project: Call for Emerging Playwrights from Palestine

The British Council, Royal Court Theatre and A. M. Qattan Foundation are collaborating to run a two-year playwriting development programme in Palestine to develop the capacity of emerging Palestinian playwrights.    

The programme will consist of three phases to be delivered over a period of 18 to 24 months as follows:

Phase One : (12-18 November 2013 )

Elyse Dodgson, Head of the International Department at the Royal Court, will travel to Palestine and participate in a seven day workshop led by British playwright Mike Bartlett for 12 -15 Palestinian participants.  The workshop aims to support individual participants in writing a new contemporary play and will be designed for the needs of each writer, to explore individual interests, and ultimately ask each writer to propose an outline of an idea for a contemporary and original play. The first draft of this play will be submitted three months after the end of the first workshop. The workshop will consist of group and individual sessions and there will also be time for writing.

Note: Plays are expected to be written in Arabic and translation into English will be arranged by the Royal Court Theatre.  

Phase Two :  (to take place during March 2014– exact date to be confirmed)

The Royal Court conducts the second phase of the workshop with any writer who has completed and delivered a full first draft submitted in Arabic.  The plays will be reviewed  by one of the Royal Court Theatre readers/translators (as appropriate), who will make recommendations on whether to proceed. The same team will travel to Palestine to work on the plays individually with the writers and do further group work to explore common problems.  At this stage, actors may be used and workshops and readings done of the plays.  This will last for about a week and at the end of this phase, the writers will work on a second draft.

Note: The Royal Court is committed to translate all of the drafts which form the basis of the Phase Two workshops.

 Phase Three : (to take place during 2014 – exact date to be confirmed)

The new drafts are reread, assessed and translated before the team returns for the final phase of work.  This sometimes involves public rehearsed readings in the country of origin, either of extracts or of whole plays, as well as individual meetings with each writer. Sometimes the writers are attached to local directors during this phase to facilitate the development of the plays.  This phase lasts for 7 – 10 days.  


Who can apply:

  • Young playwrights, based in Palestine, who have experience of writing plays.
  • Applicants will need to show evidence of their track record in writing plays.
  • Applicants do not have to demonstrate that these plays have been published or performed.
  • Deadline for receipt of applications is 4:30 pm,  3 October 2013.  Applications should be sent  via email to: information@ps.britishcouncil.org

Note:  The workshop takes place in both Arabic and English and interpreters will be available.


  • A brief statement of why you would like to attend the workshop.
  • A single page CV including your date of birth and gender.
  • One scene from a recent play you have written and a synopsis of that play (in Arabic).  We will arrange for translation into English.
  • The workshops will be in both English and Arabic.  English language fluency (spoken or written)  is not a requirement for applying or attending the workshop as interpreters will be available during the workshops.  
  • Applications are preferred in English, with the sample scene in Arabic. 
  • Contact details of at least one referee who knows of your work. 


The applications will be assessed by a panel consisting of representatives of the British Council, Royal Court and A. M. Qattan Foundation.  Successful applicants will be notified by 24th October 2013.


  • The workshop will be residential (venue to be decided) and applicants should commit to attend all the days of the workshop.
  • There will be additional activities as described in the three phases above; by applying you are committing yourself to being involved in the project for up to two years. 
  • Participants may be asked to sign a contract/letter of agreement at the beginning of the first phase.


The workshop will be residential and accommodation, food and workshop space will be provided to all participants.



The Royal Court runs long-term play development projects in many different countries, helping to stimulate new writing and bringing many of these writers and plays to London for further work and sometimes production. At any one time, the International Department will be working with dozens of playwrights through specific projects. Long-term play development relationships now exist through projects and exchanges with writers from Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Mexico,  Nigeria,  Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and seven countries in the Middle East region, including Palestine. The Royal Court has worked in Palestine since 1998 on many different new writing projects throughout the West Bank. After a gap of four years, this project aims to support a new generation of Palestinian playwrights for the future.

The Royal Court Theatre works with hundreds of playwrights across the world.  All of the projects developed by the International Department are supported by the Genesis Foundation and the British Council.

British Council

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural and educational relations. Our purpose is to build mutually beneficial relationships between people in the UK and other countries and to increase appreciation of the UK’s creative ideas and achievements.  One of the great strengths of the UK’s performing arts practice is the development of contemporary writers and the New Writing for Theatre project is a joint British Council /Royal Court /A M Qattan Foundation initiative aimed at creating relationships and opportunities for collaboration between writers, playwrights, publishers and translators in Palestine and the UK.

The A. M. Qattan Foundation

Through its Culture and Arts Programme, the A. M. Qattan Foundation works on a number of initiatives to develop the performing arts in Palestine by providing support in different forms to individuals, groups and institutions. Qattan Study Grants are offered for the different disciplines of performing arts, including music, theatre, dance and circus.  Qattan Performing Arts Grants aim to enhance professionalism and expertise in technical skills among members of the performing arts scene, in addition to increasing the number and quality of performing arts productions. The Programme offers support to projects and events such as performing arts festivals, performances and workshops.

In 2007 the Programme initiated the Performing Arts Summer School (PASS) in collaboration with the Royal Flemish Theatre – KVS and the Belgian contemporary dance company, Les Ballets C de la B. PASS works with young and new talent in the field of performing arts and the 2010 edition of the summer school focused on writing and producing for theatre. In addition to these initiatives, the Foundation has organized the Young Writer of the Year Award for a number of years, which is also open to theatre script submissions.

Further information about the British Council, the Royal Court and the A. M. Qattan Foundation can be found at: