Tag Archive for: Writers

We are thrilled to announce the Wellspring 2023 Writers!

Welcome to Emma, Ellie, Sophia, Aisling, Mohit, Yaz, Em and Jesse.

An amazing cohort of disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent artists with the energy, inspiration and vision to make their mark in theatre, with narratives we have not yet seen on stage, and characters that have new stories to tell about our world.

Read more about their work and interests.

The Writers embarked on their Wellspring journey earlier this month at Paines Plough, with workshops led by Katie Posner, Paines Plough’s Joint Artistic Director, and Guy Jones, Associate Director at the Orange Tree Theatre.

Group photo of the Wellspring training. Six people sit around a table looking to the right of the camera and smiling. Note pads, colourful pens and papers, biscuits and mugs are on the table.

The Wellspring 2023 Writers working with Guy Jones, Associate Director of Orange Tree Theatre.

The training continues in the coming weeks with a series of masterclasses with partners and tutors – an excitingly busy summer for our Wellspring Writers!

Group photo: five of the Wellspring Writers sitting next to each other, smiling at the camera. From left to right: Emma, Ellie, Jesse, Em and Mohit. Emma: A white woman with multi-coloured eyes and dark blonde straight / slightly wavy hair a few inches beyond her shoulders. Ellie: a woman in her late 20s with brown, curly hair and blue eyes. Jesse: a white androgynous person with short dark hair. Em: they have shoulder length brown hair, a large smile and warm face. Mohit: a short haired South Asian man.

Some of the Wellspring 2023 Writers. From left to right: Emma, Ellie, Jesse, Em and Mohit.

Follow their journey with us over the next few months and watch this space as we will be announcing the date for the live showcase event, featuring rehearsed readings of the Writers’ work, soon!

We are proud to be delivering Wellspring in partnership with London theatres acclaimed for championing new writing, Bush Theatre, Paines Plough, Soho Theatre, and Theatre503 with support from fellow theatre professionals and peers: Camden People’s Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre and BOLD Elephant.

Wellspring is supported with funding from City Bridge Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund supported by players of The National Lottery.

Read more about Wellspring.

Beacon is a series of short films shining a light on disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent Writers who share their experiences of the sector, talk about the importance of writing for theatre and what it means to them, and what they wish our theatres could do to truly change the under-representation of disabled playwrights in the industry.

A provocation to think differently and to continue the dialogue with new and existing voices in writing. How can we sustain theatre if we don’t actively nurture artists that make it happen? When we do not have all the answers, let’s not be afraid to ask.

In early 2023 we invited disabled Writers from our Wellspring 2021-2022 cohort to tackle these questions together and gauge what solutions could look like.

We share their ideas and provocations, through the Beacon films: four films profiling each Writer and a curated group discussion with Robbie Curran, Fatima Serghini, Gabriella MacPherson and Victoria Taylor Roberts, a total of five short films.

The Beacon films are produced by Vital Xposure Ltd and funded by The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and Didymus CIO.

Find out more about Beacon and watch the short films.

We are delighted to announce the launch of the second round of Wellspring, our professional development programme for London-based disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent playwrights and script writers, supported by City Bridge Trust.

Through a series of training sessions led by renowned disabled writers, playwrights and directors, as well as theatre venues’ professionals and peers, and mentoring support, Wellspring will provide eight participants with tools and skills to build confidence and foster connections with UK’s theatre sector, in a safe and supportive environment.

A flavour of the programme from previous participants:

“I have really enjoyed my time with Wellspring, as I feel now that my writing is enhanced by my autistic experience rather than limited by it.”
Paula Brett, Wellspring Writer 2021-2022

“Wellspring has taught me to honour my needs, and has given me to confidence not to fit in, but to assert myself.”
Nicole Latchana, Wellspring Writer 2021 – 2022

The programme will be delivered in partnership with Paines PloughBush theatreSoho Theatre and Theatre503.

A few words from programme Partners:

“Paines Plough are hugely excited to be working with Vital Xposure on the second iteration of their Wellspring programme. We can’t wait to meet the new cohort of writers and support them on the next steps of their development journey and for us to also learn from them and their brilliant creative brains and ideas!”

Charlotte Bennett, Joint Artistic Director, Paines Plough

“Soho Theatre are very excited to be part of Vital Xposure’s Wellspring programme this year. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we support the development of disabled artists and programmes like this one are instrumental in doing just that.”

Gillian Greer, Literary Manager, Soho Theatre

Applications for Wellspring 2023 are now closed.

Find out more about the programme.

An online presentation of fresh, determined voices in theatre who are re-defining the ‘mainstream’ narrative with provocations for social justice, multi-layered identities and their own disabled-led storytelling.

The showcase featured eight short films showing excerpts of new work written by each of the amazing Wellspring Writers in the past few months:

Choking Hazard (previously Redraft), by Nicole Latchana
Fighting Bitch Me, by Gabrielle MacPherson
Kummerspeck or And She Reaches Towards Me, by Lilac Yosiphon
Merrineum, by Victoria Taylor Roberts
Rock the Casbah, by Fatima Serghini
Static, by Paula Brett
Us First, by Robbie Curran
Vampires in South London, by Carmen D’ Cruz

The pieces were directed by Simon Startin and Guest Directors, Stephen Collins (Kummerspeck or And She Reaches Towards Me) and Kate Lovell (Chocking Hazard and Fighting Bitch Me). The event took place on Zoom, on Wednesday 8 June, at 3pm. The films integrated BSL Interpretation and captions.  

You can read more about each piece by downloading the information document (available in PDF and WORD):

Wellspring Showcase Films Information – June 2022 (PDF)

Wellspring Showcase Films Information – June 2022 (WORD)

Go to the Wellspring Writers’ Blog to read more about each Writer’s experience in the programme, their aspirations for the sector, top tips for playwrights looking for professional development and a sneak peak into the plays they have been writing for Wellspring.

Wellspring, supported with funding from City Bridge Trust, has provided bespoke professional development support to London-based disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent playwrights. The 2021 – 2022 programme has been delivered in partnership with mentors from the Bush Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Paines Plough and Theatre503.

Read more about Wellspring.

A warm welcome to Carmen, Fatima, Gabrielle, Lilac, Nicole, Paula, Robbie and Victoria, the eight writers and playwrights joining Wellspring this autumn. We are delighted to be working with a brilliant cohort of disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent artists with passion and determination to bring change in the stories written and told on stage and beyond.

You can find out more about this year’s programme participants here.

The Wellspring training programme, supported with funding from City Bridge Trust, commences in October and will be led by four established theatre writers with striking political work in the UK and abroad: Alex Bulmer, Cheryl Martin, Sophie Woolley and Vici Wreford-Sinnott.

We are also excited to welcome Hampstead Theatre as a mentoring partner, alongside Bush TheatrePaines Plough and Theatre503.

Read more about Wellspring.