We commission and develop brand new plays, to be performed alongside the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

"Shakespeare was once a new writer. His work was shocking, thrilling, bold. We want to nurture, provoke and present the work of writers who are doing the same thing today. We are living through fascinating times – there's a great deal to say and an appetite for big questions and rich ideas.

"Our job is to connect contemporary writers and audiences to the spirit of Shakespeare. He and his contemporaries had a strong sense of the world in which they were living and how it was changing. That's something we inherit directly from them. By including writers and new plays we keep our work new and daring, just as Shakespeare's work was in his own time."

 Erica Whyman

A boy watches as a disheveled woman eats a chocolate eclair.
Joe Barber as Laurie and Jade Ogugua as Vi in O, Island! (2022)
Photo by The Other Richard © RSC Browse and license our images

Making new plays and working with writers

Our new writers explore anything from questions about feminism, race or religion to the birth of the free press or the end of war as we know it. This can be brand new plays, large scale musicals, new translations and adaptations and ambitious work for families and for young people.

Season by season we are interested in provoking new thinking about key ideas or moments in our history so we may offer a writer a theme, but we are also open to wholly surprising ideas.

In return for their commitment and ambition we give them the time and resources to write at their fingertips. We individually tailor the play development process to fit the writer and the project. 

Recent, current and future projects

Recent new plays produced include:

New playwrights discovered

This year we have been seeking the stories of our times - the comedies, the tragedies, the untold histories - as part of the 37 Plays national playwriting project, led by the RSC and our partner theatres, giving the public the opportunity to tell their stories

The chosen 37 plays were announced in May, and will be performed script-in-hand across the UK and online in autumn 2023. 

Find out more

Script Policy

We don't accept unsolicited scripts; instead we identify writers we are interested in working with by closely monitoring new work across the UK. If you have a play reading, workshop sharing, or show coming up and you would like to invite us, you can email us at newwork@rsc.org.uk (giving us as much notice as possible).

Current new work

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