Short plays for new writers

 1 February 2011

Nick Brice is Director of White Room Theatre. He is pushing the art form of the ten-minute play at the Fringe. He told Creative Choices how he came up with the idea and how it can help new playwrights get exposure.

"In a Bite-Size Breakfast Show, people get five 10-minute plays with a croissant and a strawberry, served up on their lap with fresh Columbian coffee. And they see five ideas or stories, told within 10 minutes, all within an hour.

"It's an eclectic, exciting, engaging mix of shows. But it's also giving young writers from all sorts of places the opportunity to have their play performed at the daddy of all festivals up here in Edinburgh."

Supporting new playwrights

"I started it because I wrote a play and I couldn't put it on. So I decided to put it on myself."

"White Room Theatre exists to help new writing get a decent audience. So we have a whole range of different initiatives. We do research, we have partnerships around the world, we hold our own international short playwriting competition.

"Basically through getting audience feedback and the use of professional judges, we assemble every year the best examples of 10-minute plays that we can find from all around the world."

New writing at the Edinburgh Fringe

"I started it because I wrote a play and I couldn't put it on. So I decided to put it on myself. I found some actors who were foolish enough to take a risk with performing my play.

"I hired a church hall and I created a brochure. I entered it into the Brighton Festival, and on the third performance we sold out.

"I did it again the following year, then I started writing short plays and pieces for radio, film and theatre. I entered a 10-minute play competition over in Australia and got in one of the finals.

"I got to know some of the people out there and started to get sent the best examples of 10-minute plays. Then we did our own playwriting competition and had over 400 writers enter."

Advice for aspiring writers

"A lot of people say they're thinking about writing something, or they've wanted to write a play, or they want to go on a creative writing course.

"That's all well and good, but my experience is, get a computer, a blank screen, sit in front of it and start writing."


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