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ROYAL COURT THEATRE RESIDENCY (article first published : 2007-02-18)

Since 1989 the Royal Court Theatre has collaborated with emerging playwrights from all parts of the world. The International Residency offers a unique opportunity for international theatre professionals to meet and work with leading British playwrights, directors and performers.

At the same time, the four-week Residency provides a studio for emerging playwrights to share and develop their own work and methods. The International Residency will work with ten writers from all parts of the world, and examples of their work in progress will be presented at the end of the Residency in a public forum in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.

The Royal Court Theatre is one of Europe’s leading theatres, which since 1956 has presented a programme of new and innovative drama that has become known throughout the world. It has presented premières by almost every leading British contemporary playwright including John Osborne, Arnold Wesker, John Arden, Edward Bond, David Hare, Howard Brenton, Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

The Theatre Upstairs, in which the International Residency takes place, has been the Royal Court's studio for exploration and experiment since 1968, providing a home for the early work by many major British writers, directors and performers. Since 1994, there has been a succession of new plays which have made a great impact internationally by writers new to the Royal Court, many of them first plays. These include plays by Martin Crimp, Tom Stoppard, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Phyllis Nagy, Jez Butterworth, Conor McPherson, Meredith Oakes, Rebecca Prichard and international writers such as David Gieselmann, Marius von Mayenburg, Vassily Sigarev, the Presnykov Brothers, Juan Mayorga, Marcos Barbosa and Edgar Chías.

The Royal Court's international work has expanded in recent years to include continuing collaborations with theatres in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa. Many new and exciting theatre projects have evolved in different parts of the world as a result of the programme including a biennial season of new international work at the Royal Court which can include the work of former Residency participants.

The Royal Court has two theatres: the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs (proscenium arch) and the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (studio theatre). It regularly transfers productions to other theatres, as well as mounting seasons which revive ‘classic’ contemporary plays. The Royal Court typically produces 19 new plays each year, most of which are premieres of plays commissioned, developed or discovered by the theatre.

The International Residency is designed for playwrights at an early stage of their career. This intensive four-week programme gives playwrights the opportunity to work on their own new writing projects with British artists associated with the Royal Court and to develop new projects with each other. The International Residency takes place at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London. Now in its 19th year, the Residency has become a springboard for international play development projects in many parts of the world. Last year playwrights from 11 different countries took part in the programme, mainly supported by the British Council. For more information on the Royal Court Theatre and the work of the International Department visit www.royalcourttheatre.com

The fee of £3,600 includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and theatre tickets. Accommodation is within walking distance or a short bus ride from the theatre. The organisers require that every participant to be funded by a recognised funding body. In the past, the British Council has assisted in supporting the majority of places on the Residency. Other funding bodies have regularly supported artists on this programme. Those accepted on to the Residency will be assisted as much as possible in finding support.

The residency programme runs from Monday to Friday. Theatre visits and individual meetings take place Monday to Friday evenings and some weekends. Please note participants must be free to attend the entire programme. It is a demanding programme and participants are supplied in advance with a reading list, some playtexts to read and a draft schedule to assist in their preparation.

Much of the International Residency programme is text-based, so participants must have a good working knowledge of English. Playwrights will be expected to write in their mother tongue and this work will be translated by the Royal Court.

Due to the limited space available on the International Residency, applicants are advised to send their application and details of their source of payment as soon as possible. All applications should be received by March 1, 2007, although late applications may be considered. For applications, e-mail international@royalcourttheatre.com

More information from Elyse Dodgson, Royal Court International Residency, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS, UK, on +44 20 7565 5050or fax +44 20 7565 5001.




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