Royal Exchange Theatre

The Search Party - A Royal Exchange Theatre Playwriting Initiative

Following on from the enormous success of our previous playwriting initiatives, the Royal Exchange Theatre is now planning to run an exciting new project aimed specifically at Manchester’s Muslim Community. “The Search Party” is an innovative project, giving young Muslims the opportunity to learn new playwriting techniques, culminating in participants writing their own short scene. A panel will select up to ten scripts to be performed by professional actors at the world renowned Royal Exchange Theatre.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (255424)




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • ReligiousReligious


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



As well as producing world class performances, the Royal Exchange Theatre has a reputation for discovering new actors, directors and playwrights, developing their talents to enable them to pursue successful careers. Through the use of The Theatre and The Studio, our second performance space, aspiring actors and directors can take risks and learn valuable skills in a professional yet safe environment. For playwrights, we run a number of competitions and courses, including two nationally acclaimed competitions supported by Bruntwood (see for more information on the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition). “The Search Party” is a collaboration between The Royal Exchange Theatre Literary Department, and Exchange Education, our award-winning education department. Following on from the success of our recent playwriting initiatives, “The Search Party” is a year long pilot scheme specifically aimed at young members of Manchester’s Muslim community. Working with approximately 100 people from local schools, mosques, community groups and universities our experienced practitioners will run a series of workshops focused on theatrical techniques and the art of playwriting. The project will comprise of three phases: The initial stage of this project will be to deliver taster workshops to Muslim groups around Manchester. These will take place at external venues / venues within community, such as the University of Manchester, local mosques and community centres. These workshops will give an introduction to playwriting, and a selection of theatrical skills and techniques. Complementary to drama-based skills, these courses will aid communication and teamwork skills, and provide a forum to discuss contemporary issues. The second phase of the project will take place onsite at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Led by two writers (one male and one female to enable single-sex workshops where appropriate), we will run 8 sessions open to all Muslim’s aged between 16 and 25. This linked programme of workshops will look in more detail at the process of writing a play, with professional writers giving valuable hints and tips. During the project participants will have been writing and developing their own short scenes. During the final phase of the project these will be submitted to our panel of judges. Comprising members of our Literary and Artistic Department, the panel will select up to 10 scripts to be given a rehearsed reading by professional actors at the Royal Exchange Theatre. The writers will be able to attend the rehearsals and work with the actors to improve their pieces. The chosen scripts will then be showcased across two evenings in front of an audience in The Studio at the Royal Exchange Theatre. All entrants will be given a complimentary ticket to a Royal Exchange Theatre production, and a behind-the-scenes tour of our unique building.