The Open Sessions - call for submissions

The Open Session

For one month we open up to read new and previously unproduced plays and musicals from writers living and working in the South West. Submissions are accepted from Monday 2 June until Monday 30 June 2014.

For the five plays or musicals that most set our pulses racing will we offer bespoke packages of development furthering our conversations with regional writing talent. The Top 20 submissions will receive full readers' reports.

What we are looking for: -

  • Submissions must be from writers living and working in the South West. We define this as writers based in the counties of Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Somerset, and the unitary authorities of Bath & North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Swindon, Torbay and Wiltshire. At the moment we are not able to consider work from writers who are based outside of the region.
  • An original script that has not been previously produced. Plays or musicals that have emerged from a developmental stage (e.g. rehearsed readings or workshops) will be accepted.
  • Plays that are complete. If it is much over 100 pages, it may benefit from editing.
  • Musicals that are complete, along with a demo of at least 3 songs; or Musicals submitted in the form of a Full Synopsis of the plot along with demo recordings of at least 3 songs. Demos do not need to be polished recordings; rough demos are fine.
  • We are excited by work that is distinct and theatrical, with live staging at its heart. We're attracted by stories that ask questions and tell us something about being alive today, plays that in some way have relevance to our own lives and consider their audience. The best way to get a sense of the work that gets us going is to read about the work we've previously produced in the past, and read scripts where published.

How do I submit my work?

  • Scripts should be on commonly found document formats known to be readable by Word for Windows; or they can be pdf documents.
  • You may only submit one work for this round. Take time to consider a piece of your work that is best representative of your theatrical voice. We want to get a sense of your individuality.
  • Demo songs for musicals should be submitted by including in your email a link to a website (such as soundcloud), or a web-based sharing site (such as Dropbox, YouSendIt or other Cloud storage) where we can hear or retrieve songs. please set any retrieval date for as long as possilbe, so that we can download your audio.
  • Please do not send second drafts or resubmissions of works you have previously sent in to us.
  • Please do not send us scripts for radio, film, television or adaptations of other work.
  • Put your name, your play or musical title and full contact details (address with post code, phone & email) on the covering email. On the script document itself only the play or musical title should be carried (not the writer's name). This is because all submissions will be judged with the writer's identity anonymous.

A few things to bear in mind: -

  • We will not read entries sent before 9.00am on Monday 2nd June or after 5pm 30th June 2014
  • Page numbers, character breakdowns and legible type/layout are required
  • Plays will take approximately three months to go through our reading system. We are expecting a considerably large volume of submissions so please bear with us
  • We will let you know the outcome of your submission when a decision has been reached.
  • We will announce the five selected submissions on the Literary Department's section of the Bristol Old Vic website which can be found here:

What happens when you send us your script?

When we have received your play, we will send you an acknowledgement via email. This is done when the scripts are processed (usually within a month of receipt).

Next, the play will be read by a member of our extensive and trusty script reading team, made up of producers, playwrights and directors.

What is the Bristol Old Vic offering in this Open Session?

We will give feedback in the way of a full reader's report to the top 20 submissions. These will be chosen based on the work we feel demonstrates individual flair and compliments Bristol Old Vic's programming.

The five plays that get our pulses racing the most will be offered bespoke packages of development. These will be created in conversation with the writers selected and this ongoing relationship may lead to commissioning opportunities.

So that's it.... be bold, be adventurous.

We look forward to reading your work.