Chesil Theatre’s new writing festival –
TakeTen launches today with The Road Not Taken selected as theme
1st May 2020: THE ROAD NOT TAKEN has been selected as the theme for a new national playwriting festival run by Chesil Theatre Winchester, with the winning 10 plays performed over one weekend in February 2021.
TakeTen Chesil Theatre New Writing Festival (‘TakeTen’), the new biennial contest, opens today to entries and has a simple format:
- plays need to be ten minutes in length
- scripts can include one to four actors, with minimum props, lighting and sound, and
- they must also be unperformed, unpublished and original work.
The theatre company has built a strong reputation for cultivating new plays and discovering new writers over the past decade and has attracted the attention of some renowned actors. Having watched a performance, Sir Ian McKellen enthused: “I thought the whole enterprise was startlingly good and an example of what a theatre company like the Chesil can do better than a professional one. They should be very proud of the result of their labours.”
TakeTen builds on this success and the company hopes its new contest will be the most successful festival yet.
David Small, Chairman, Chesil Theatre, says: “Chesil Theatre has long been associated with performing ground-breaking work, and ‘TakeTen Chesil Theatre New Writing Festival 2021’ aims to cement that reputation and to give new talent an opportunity to be celebrated – in front of a paying audience – over one weekend.
“We received a large number of suggestions for the festival theme, with The Road Not Taken selected owing to its wide opportunity for interpretation. While it is the name of a well-known poem by Robert Frost, we hope that new playwrights will have a lot of fun with it and use its versatility to come up with some theatre firsts.”
A unique feature of TakeTen is its final rehearsal period taken over a concentrated time. This makes it easier for those who can’t normally commit to the theatre’s usual eight-week schedule to take part. The set for each play is also kept intentionally simple, allowing for the 10 winning plays to be performed back to back and with minimum set change time.
David Small concludes: “The whole ‘hothouse’ atmosphere of the festival creates a tremendous team effort when 50 people or more finally get together for the four performances over one frenetic weekend, culminating in a final end of show party.”
All entries must be in by 11:59 on 18th July 2020. Those shortlisted through an initial selection process then go to a panel of judges before the short list of 20 and final 10 winners are announced in autumn 2020. Chesil Theatre will then start appointing directors and stage management, with auditions and casting to follow.
Rules and entry criteria are available here www.chesiltheatre.org.uk or email if you have any specific queries not covered by the entry criteria to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules and the entry form to accompany your script are available using this link
For further information please contact:
Chesil Theatre Marketing Team
The Chesil Theatre (Winchester Dramatic Society) is based in Winchester and presents six main productions a year, ranging from comedy to classics. Chesil Theatre also performs regular rehearsed readings as well as offering stagecraft training. The company has been performing plays for 150 years.
Since 1966 the Chesil Theatre has been our permanent home - a former 12th century church in Chesil Street. Its medieval building provides an intimate 75-seat studio-style theatre and versatile performance space. It has around 250 members including two youth groups, and auditions are open to everyone; newcomers are welcome.