RSC announces shortlist for its 37 Plays project

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has revealed the shortlist for its 37 Plays project.

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, 37 Plays is a nationwide search for the most exciting new playwriting voices of today.

The RSC has partnered with a network of 12 regional Theatre Partners across the UK for the initiative, which is open to all writers – whether first-time, emerging or professional playwrights.

The judges were announced last month and include Associate Director of the Unicorn Theatre Rachael Bagshaw, award-winning author Sharna Jackson, Associate Editor and Theatre Critic Lyn Gardner, Ian Charleson Award-winning actor Bally Gill, award-winning playwrights Juliet Gilkes-Romero and Mark Ravenhill, RSC Associate Artist Ray Fearon and Actor/Producer David Threlfall. They are joined by Harry and Ella from the RSC’s Youth Advisory Board.

The judging panel is chaired by outgoing Acting Artistic Director of the RSC, Erica Whyman (Hamnet).

The search closed on 31 January 2023, and the 37 plays will be announced on 18 May 2023, and all performed, script-in-hand, across the UK and online in Autumn 2023.

More than 2,000+ plays were submitted and read by a panel of 24 readers, recruited from across the UK. Over a six-week period the readers read 31 plays per week to create an initial longlist of 350 plays.

From the longlist, a total of 71 plays have been shortlisted for commendation, which the judges are now assessing. 90% of entries were submitted by writers aged 18+, 7% by writers aged 11-17 and 3% by writers aged under 11, with the largest number of entries coming from Greater London at 558.

Playwright Mark Ravenhill said on Twitter that: “It was humbling to have so many writers entrust their plays to the RSC and to be invited to read some of them. I’m looking forward to seeing which makes the final 37. The standard was so high.”

37 Plays 2023 Shortlist

  1. Abigail White – Stars
  2. Alex Oates – The Filleting App
  3. Amanda Wilkin – And I Dreamt I was Drowning
  4. Amber Takhar, Zoe Strods – The Bad Tooth Fairy
  5. Amy Bethan Evans – LilyPower
  6. Angela O’Callaghan – keening
  7. Benjamin Hopwood – Loki-9-Lives
  8. Billie Collins – Beltane
  9. Caleb J Mccutcheon – Writer’s block
  10. Catherine Dyson – The Last Picture
  11. Catherine Harvey – The Rialto Burns
  12. Charlotte Bevin – The Story in a Story
  13. Chloe Banks – Human Resources
  14. Christopher Loft – The Interview Stage
  15. Daneka Etchells – rogue comet(s) remnants of a decommissioned star
  16. Daniel Foxsmith – Riptide
  17. Dylan Punch – Bruno
  18. Edward Keppel – Frenemies
  19. Emmanuel Awkwafo – Dipped in the fountain of manhood
  20. Eoin McAndrew – Russell
  21. Errol McGlashan – Something To Take Off The Edge
  22. Felicity Williamson – Abandoned
  23. Gareth Jandrell – Sick Children Karaoke
  24. Grace Hemmings-Buckler – Stargazer
  25. Halilath Elegbede, Esther Asifiwe, Mapenzi Ukweli, Iqra Haider – Isolation
  26. Hannah Eggleton – Growing Pains
  27. Hannah Kennedy – Godmodders & Metagamers
  28. Hannah Shury-Smith – Go Back Home!
  29. Harry McCrum – Into the Forest
  30. Hayley-Rose Jarman-Norris – Effort//less
  31. Isabella James – Life goes on
  32. Jack Bradfield – The Habits
  33. Jacob Thomas – Momentary Masters
  34. Jennifer Lunn – Core
  35. Joan Jackson-Callen – Evie of Windrush
  36. Joanne Thomson – Jack in a Box
  37. John Booker – Bwoy Dem
  38. Jordon Grant – The Ever-Changing Sea
  39. Joy Ngwenya – Rewrite the story
  40. Kayla Feldman – Watchdog
  41. Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir –This Is a Gift
  42. Kwame Owusu – Dreaming and Drowning
  43. Lisa Parry – NOT
  44. Lucy McIntyre – Niamh and the famous frogs
  45. ‘Created by the Kyra Women’s Project Members in Partnership with Kyra Women’s Project, York Theatre Royal and Thunk-It Theatre.’ – The Stories You Want To Tell
  46. lydia luke – upright enuf
  47. maatin – Friday at the masjid
  48. Martha Wainwright, Jayda Williams, Andre Jeffries, Grace Abra, Rebecca Webb, Alex Logan – ‘Miss’ Treatment
  49. Maximilian Kufuor – Fish
  50. Mia Lloyd – Land Wreck
  51. Molly Sue Cartwright – Alfie and War
  52. Nancy Netherwood – Radiant Boy
  53. Naomi Hall – Corridors
  54. Nell Turner – The SHED
  55. Oliver Cooney – Belonging
  56. Patty Kim Hamilton – Re: Jane Doe
  57. Paulette Jacqueline Holmes – Fix Up Look Sharp
  58. Rob Thorpe – Woods Butterflies
  59. Rohan Gotobed – Getting Closer
  60. Rosanna Jahangard – Pram Talk
  61. Roua Horanieh – Pizza Visa & Pledging Allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen
  62. Ruby Kitching – Still Life (with Mangos)
  63. Ruth D’Silva – Bungalow
  64. Samantha Robinson – From Lewisham to Llandudno
  65. Sophie MacDonald – Snow Shoes
  66. Thiago Varela – Future
  67. Thomas Bursnoll – The Social Mask
  68. Tim Wallers – The Doris Effect
  69. Tom Murray – North Star
  70. Tom Van Hentenryck – You’re going to hate me
  71. Tracy Harris – Mum Fighter

37 Plays website
👤 📅12 May 2023
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📷 Main photo: 37 Plays - RSC

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