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Playwriting in the Marketplace - TFT00065M

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  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Hannah Davies
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module introduces you to the important elements of new play development, and engages with industry factors and considerations around commissioning, fundraising and project building. You will explore key points in the development and commissioning process and the documents and practices necessary to move through it (how to write a treatment, preparing for and running a new play workshop, different approaches to commissioning, presenting a first draft to a funding board, etc.). Working with a series of professional case studies you will study a variety of different playwriting/performance projects and consider them from all stages of development from their initial conception, to creating partnerships, to funding applications, to production and delivery management.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  • to introduce you to new play development processes in the UK, from the pitching of initial ideas to submission of production drafts

  • to stimulate critical analysis of the marketplace for new writing in the UK

  • to expose you to the types of practical writing necessary to engage in these processes (writing a pitch letter, writing a grant application, etc.)

  • to provide you with opportunities to practise describing and promoting your own dramatic writing, both in writing and through presentations

  • to provide you with opportunities to engage in the vital step of redrafting during and after a reading/workshop

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be expected:

  • to demonstrate an understanding of various new play development processes

  • to have developed the practical writing and presentation skills that will enable you to engage in those processes

  • to have learned to analyse and evaluate feedback received as part of a workshopping or play reading process to help you in the process of redrafting your script

  • to exercise a critical understanding of playwriting in the theatre industry


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Pitch Presentation and associated documents
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Pitch Presentation and associated documents
N/A 30

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

Indicative reading

Grace, F. and Bayley, C. (2015). Playwriting. London: Bloomsbury.

Lane, D. (2010). Contemporary British Drama. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Neipris, J. (2005). To Be A Playwright. New York: Routledge.

Radosavljevic, D. (2013). Theatre-Making: Interplay Between Text and Performance in the 21st Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rebellato, D. (ed.). (2013). Modern British Playwriting: 2000-2009: Voices, Documents, New Interpretations. London: Methuen.

Sierz, A. (2011). Rewriting the Nation. London: Faber.

Sigal, S (2017). Writing in Collaborative Theatre-Making. London:Palgrave.

Simonsen, B. (ed.). (2017). The Art of Rehearsal. London: Bloomsbury.

Tomlin, L. (2015). British Theatre Companies: 1995-2014. London: Bloomsbury.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.