The Space, 2015
“Overall the ScriptSix scheme has been a great experience which has improved my writing and helped me write a different and far better play than I could have done without.”
“Their differences gave me new perspectives on my own work, and new tools, which I’ve found invaluable.”
As part of his work as Literary Manager at the Space, Sebastian created ScriptSix, a project which gave mid-career writers the opportunity to challenge themselves and explore a new voice or a new way of writing. The six winning writers wrote a new play, which was then published. Below is Sebastian’s foreword to the published collection of plays:
With a strong emphasis with new writing organisations into finding one’s individual ‘voice’, it is very common for writers to pursue a known and trusted journey rather than challenge themselves and embark on a new one. As such, writers who have had one or two plays produced and felt it was successful in identifying their voice from the crowd find it very difficult to then take a risk and try something completely different. This keen industry interest in this ‘voice’ comes at the expense of exploration and self-discovery, which we believe writing for theatre should be about.
What ScriptSix aims to do, is to give writers the opportunity to challenge themselves and explore a new voice or a new way of writing – something that scares them, something they don’t know how to do or something they thought they could never write.
In the difficult application process, we selected six writers who work in a distinctive way and see theatre differently. Thus, we aimed at pairing up people who could truly benefit the others in this peer-led process.
ScriptSix was divided into three parts, the first involved 6 bi-monthly workshops over 3 months, in which a different writer lead a session, explaining their methods and inspiring the other writers into their techniques. Each writer was then encouraged to attempt to write something in that style or using the methods discussed in the workshop.
After the first 3 months, we sent the writers to try and utilise the new ideas they learnt, and to try and write something they have never written before. Through feedback sessions, we continued mentoring them in this new and scary journey, until each produced a new play, which was then read by professional actors in a mini festival.