Short Cut

Moving Forward by Writing and Staging Short Plays

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Big n’ little

As Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, I’m often asked by early career/emerging playwrights what is the best path to a full production in a London theatre. There’re lots of opinions on this matter, but getting your work on at the various scratch and shorts nights in your local area is commonly thought to be a good way to start, for the following reasons:

A) A short allows you to see how a concept/technique/form works with an audience, before you commit it to full length form.

B) Your work may be seen by industry figures such as theatre scouts, agents and producers.

C) Writing shorts will further hone and polish your craft.

D) You’ll build up your portfolio of writing credits.

E) Writing credits give you an edge when applying for bursaries, residencies, funding etc..

F) Having a short on the go, as you write your main project, provides a healthy displacement activity.

G) It facilitates networking opportunities and allows you to build relationships with theatres/directors/performers and theatre people in your area.

H) Having a short accepted for such an event, encourages and motivates.

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About suehealy

Literary Manager at the Finborough, Sue Healy is a playwright with a track record in stage and radio. Her most recent play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and was later selected for a staged-reading at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Her short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts by Women). Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been an interviewed finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamonn Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and Old Vic 12 New Voices. Her screenplay was shortlisted for the Shorelight Award. Sue’s prose has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is Irish. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. Sue is currently an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the University of Lincoln and the University of Portsmouth. She tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. View all posts by suehealy

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