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The New Play Commission Scheme (NPCS), led by WGGB in partnership with HighTide TheatreUK Theatre and the Independent Theatre Council, has been designed to respond to the decline in new theatre commissions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NPCS will provide grants equivalent to the WGGB commissioning minimum for the type of theatre and/or company commissioning the work. Playwrights will be invited to apply in partnership with a venue or producer. The grant will be conditional on a commitment from the commissioning body to make a second payment at first draft delivery. If the company or producer chooses to accept the play for production, they will also pay the acceptance fee.

The selection panel includes playwrights April de Angelis, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Tom Wentworth and Roy Williams, director and playwright Aisha Khan, producer Kate Pakenham and producer and director James Dacre.


Frequently asked questions


Will applicants need a full script to apply?

No, applications will require a proposal and a sample of previous work.

Do writers have to be a member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) to make an application?

No, applicants do not have to be members of the WGGB to apply and membership status will not be divulged to the selection panel. We would of course recommend that any professional or emerging playwright join the WGGB. Full details of the benefits of membership and how to apply can be found here.

I am a writer, but I do not have a producing partner. Can I still apply?

Unlike writing development schemes, a specific aim of NPCS is to ensure that new writing is being brought to the stage. The assessment of applications will be made on both the creative idea and the likely pathway to production. To be considered for the scheme applications must include submissions from both a writer and the producing partner.

However, the scheme specifies that 75% of awards will go to applications where the writer and producer have not staged work together before.

If I do not have a producing partner, how can I find one?

To ensure full transparency and independent oversight, NPCS cannot introduce playwrights to producing partners. However, we have produced a brief fact sheet for those writers without existing relationships with producers which you can access here.

Where can I get more information?

Please check back on the 25th April, when full application information and FAQs will be available.