The National Theatre

National Theatre Studio - Emerging Directors and New Writing

The Studio is the centre of research and development for the National Theatre. Since its foundation in 1984, the Studio has been an invaluable resource for a wide range of artists working throughout British theatre, providing an environment in which writers, actors and practitioners of all kinds can explore, experiment and devise new work free from the pressure of public performance. By offering artists the two most important resources available – namely time and space – the Studio is able to create an environment and ethos in which fearless exploration and experiment are encouraged. The Studio is not about finished product, but about the chance to take risks, test new material and hone ideas that may or may not one day become a new play, a classic text or a major production.

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Emerging Directors: One of the Studio’s key roles is to identify and develop the best directing talent in the UK today. To that end, the National employs a number of staff directors, whose responsibility it is to rehearse understudies and look after Lyttelton and Olivier productions once they have opened. Staff Directors are managed through the Studio by the Studio Associate, and we normally have around 6-8 young directors working with us as staff directors at any one time. EACH STAFF DIRECTOR COSTS £25,000 PER ANNUM New Writers: The Studio works closely with the National’s Literary Department in developing and supporting writers and new writing for the theatre. We support commissioned playwrights by offering readings, dramaturgical support and a place to write; invite writers to come on attachment, and also offer emerging writers the opportunity to hear their plays read, as part of a redrafting or script development process. Most NT commissions receive a reading at the Studio, including The History Boys, The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder and Happy Now?. THERE ARE 30 PLAY READINGS A YEAR COSTING £45,000 (£1,500 EACH)