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UK's first dedicated Digital Theatre Literary Department!



Chronic Insanity has launched the UK’s first dedicated digital theatre literary department, aimed at providing training and funding for emerging and early-career writers to make theatre specifically for digital audiences.


The Nottingham-based theatre company has launched the new scheme, funded by Arts Council England, with the announcement of three £2000 commissions for playwrights Emily Holyoake, Naomi Westerman, and Yasmine Dankwah.


A fourth commission is currently open for applications from any playwright, regardless of prior digital theatre experience.


In addition, each of the four digital plays will be produced over the next 12 months by Chronic Insanity, alongside a series of workshops and writing support services for anyone wanting to learn more about writing digital theatre. This will combine with the educational offering from their digital summer arts festival, Puncture The Screen, which is set to take place on July 16th-17th, to make one of the most robust offerings of support to digital theatre makers in the country.


Joe Strickland, Co-founder and Artistic Director for Chronic Insanity, said: “As some institutions in the wider theatre industry begin to renege on their commitments to making more accessible, affordable, sustainable, and inclusive digital theatre, we want to make the push in the other direction with a clear programme of dedicated education and support, as well as significant funding for people to take those ideas and put them into immediate practice. We’re only a small company but someone has to do it, so why not us?”


Since 2019, the company have continually surpassed their aim of performing 12 shows every 12 months, many of which took the form of digital theatre productions during lockdown, resulting in critical acclaim and them winning the Off West End award for best Audio Production in 2021 for their production of Red Breast by Lotty Holder.


Nat Henderson, Chronic Insanity’s Co-founder and Literary Manager, says that the establishing of this department “deepens Chronic Insanity’s commitment to making a high quantity of high quality theatre in innovative ways, particularly for audiences regardless of their geography or prior experience with theatre as an art form”.


The open commission will accept expressions of interest from any and all playwrights with a desire to create digital theatre for digital communities, with submissions open until June 24th, 23:59.


Expressions of interest can be sent to chronicinsanityscripts@gmail.com and should include:


  1. Something about yourself

  2. Something about the work you like to, and want to, make digitally

  3. A sample or representation of your writing, no more than 10 A4 pages in length or of an equivalent duration.


Expressions of interest can be submitted in any written, audio, or video format, and will be read by a panel of the company’s core team. Follow up conversations will then take place with some applicants, with a shortlist released in early July. The £2000 commission will then be awarded before the end of July, with a commitment to stage the production within the following 12 months.


Feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions!

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