WGGB is delighted to announce the New Play Commission Scheme, in partnership with HighTide Theatre, UK Theatre and the Independent Theatre Council

New Play Commission Scheme logo

Designed to respond to the decline in new theatre commissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPCS will ensure 18 new commissions for playwrights across England in 2022.

The scheme has been generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, by Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre through the Theatre Development Trust; and has raised over £50,000 in donations from major producers, actors, and writers. Faber has also made a generous donation to the New Play Commission Scheme, and will award an additional £5,000 to the best play by an unpublished writer.

The scheme provide grants equivalent to the WGGB commissioning minimum for the type of theatre and/or company commissioning the work. Playwrights were required to apply for the scheme in partnership with a venue or producer.

Applications have now closed and recipients have now been announced. You can see the full list here

Ellie Peers, General Secretary of the WGGB, said:
“The last two years have brought immense challenges to playwrights and have stopped many promising careers in their tracks. The New Play Commission Scheme brings writers and theatres together to produce new work under fair and equitable terms. We are hugely proud to be a part of this scheme.”

Supporting quotes

The NPCS could not happen without our generous partners, supporters and donors. Find out more here

“ITC is delighted to work with the Writers’ Guild in making this much-needed project happen. New writing is the lifeblood of the independent sector and we look forward to enabling an exciting new tranche of writers to realise their potential.”
Charlotte Jones, CEO, Independent Theatre Council
“COVID-19 had an immediate impact on the theatre industry internationally, but the long-term challenges are just as stark. The number of new play commissions across the country has dropped significantly, and lack of opportunity has seen talented writers move away from theatre. There couldn’t be a worse time for this, as it is more important now than ever for theatre to tell new stories that speak to the country today. The New Play Commission Scheme will help breathe new life into playwriting and support a new generation of playwrights.”
Jon Gilchrist, Joint President, UK Theatre
“The Theatre Development Trust exists to support and champion initiatives that strengthen the future of the industry, and this scheme fits that objective so well as the industry emerges from such a challenging period.”
Martin Scott, Chief Operating Officer, Society of London Theatre
“I’m delighted to be a member of the selection panel for the New Play Commission Scheme, an excellent initiative that will encourage theatres to continue to find and produce diverse voices so that our stages represent our society fully.”
April De Angelis, playwright
“New writing is the lifeblood of Faber's drama list, so I'm thrilled that Faber should be part of this inspired scheme. Unpublished playwrights from across the land are eligible for the Faber Prize and I cannot wait to hear what they have to say.”
Dinah Wood, Editorial Director, Drama, Faber
“NPCS not only offers a lifeline to writers and producers, but most importantly it helps ensure new writing forms part of how we all recover and move forward as citizens and communities.”
Suba Das, Creative Director, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
“The NPCS gives vital support to writers who have been hit tremendously by the pandemic. It is crucial that the slow process of creating new work isn’t starved to death.”
Lee Hall, playwright and screenwriter
“There is no doubt that, with theatres under threat, the responsibility for securing the future of diverse playwriting needs to be taken on by all of us. It’s amazing the WGGB have stepped in with the NPCS, a vital ingredient for all our futures.”
Jack Thorne, playwright and screenwriter

Selection panel

The selection panel was chaired by WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth

To view further information on all members of our selection panel, click on the ‘Bio’ buttons below

Partners and supporters

We would like to thank our partners and supporters for this project
Arts Council England logo
WGGB logo
ITC logo
HighTide Theatre logo
UK Theatre logo
Faber logo