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, Deputy Artistic Director

a shelf crammed full of scripts
© RSC – Image Licensing

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 project.

Recent, current and future projects

New plays in production include The Seven Acts of Mercy by Anders Lustgarten, The Hypocrite by Richard Bean and Vice Versa by Phil Porter. 

Recent new plays produced include:

Erica Whyman in a loose white shirt sitting cross-legged on a chair and talking
Erica Whyman in rehearsals
© RSC – Image Licensing

The Literary Department

The department is overseen by Erica Whyman, and led by Pippa Hill, Literary Manager; working with her are Réjane Collard-Walker, Deputy Literary Manager, Collette McCarthy, Literary Assistant, and William Chapman, Literary Admin Assistant. They are all based in our London office.

As well as commissioning and developing all of our new plays and writer-led projects, the team also work on edits and dramaturgy for the classical texts, research and commission translations and adaptations, and lead on all of our literary endeavours.

Members of the Literary Team standing outside a theatre with writer Tom Morton Smith
Réjane Collard-Walker, Pippa Hill, Playwright Tom Morton-Smith and Collette McCarthy at the Oppenheimer Press Night in the West End
© RSC – Image Licensing

Script Policy

We do not 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 literary@rsc.org.uk (giving us as much notice as possible).

 

The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.

Training the Next Generation

Support the next generation of actors, directors and theatre makers. As a charity with £4m to raise every year, the support of our audience is vital. Please consider making a donation.

Make a donation

You might also like