Student playwright wins plaudits from National Theatre

A UCS Year 12 pupil has won a special commendation after entering a play into a nationwide playwriting competition run by the National Theatre.

Student Sophie submitted the script Don’t Even Think About It as part of her participation in New Views, the National Theatre playwriting programme offered to UCS Year 12 pupils by the Drama Department.

Sophie’s script was one of 468 submitted by students from schools, colleges and theatres around the UK and initially made the long list of 103 plays. She then discovered that it was one of 43 to have been ‘highly commended’ by New Views judges: “A highly commended play is one that did not make the shortlist of ten but that we feel deserves special recognition. This is a huge achievement. The readers and New Views team felt this piece of work showed something unique and deserves to be acknowledged.”

As a ‘highly commended’ writer, Sophie has been invited to attend an online workshop with professional playwrights on Wednesday 14th June. “New Views was an amazing opportunity to write a play with feedback from the National Theatre and I would have been delighted even if I hadn’t ended up being highly commended,” said Sophie. “I was amazed to find out that I was highly commended and I am very excited about the theatre workshop.”

New Views was offered as a co-curricular extension to the USC Drama provision. Participants have the chance to develop creative writing skills, work with professional writers and directors, see plays at the National Theatre, and submit 30-minute plays into the playwriting competition.

“The scheme started during the Autumn Term,” explained Sophie. “At first, we met every few weeks and did exercises to help with our writing and to come up with an idea for a play. Then, in December, a National Theatre playwright came to give us a workshop. This was very helpful in giving me a more solid idea of what my play and characters would look like.”

Set in Dublin (pictured), Don’t Even Think About It is a play about a transgender teenager in a Catholic family in Ireland. “After submitting a first draft I had a one-to-one meeting with a National Theatre playwright, after which I decided to change my play to focus on the conflict in the main character between being trans and being religious, and I also introduced a new character. After rewriting the play I submitted my final draft although I wasn’t expecting to hear anything back!”

Back to all highlights
You may also be interested in

Fives back in favour at UCS

Fives back in favour at UCS

Fresh take on an old classic

Fresh take on an old classic

DNA link-up at Pre-Prep

DNA link-up at Pre-Prep