Writing Plays For Children: A Workshop and Ideas Exchange
This was an event held around the play The Night Queen At The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in association with The Writers’ Guild West Midlands Branch. It took place on Saturday 11th June 2011 4pm – 5:30pm.
Further information about the Writers’ Guild & how to join is on The Writers Guild website.
Jenny Stephens, director and Philip Monks, writer of The Night Queen led a workshop and ideas exchange informed by their work in general and this production in particular.
They were joined by Justine Themen, the Belgrade’s Associate Director for Community and Education, who talked about how she works with writers, the role of the writer and how she commissions new work, Ian Billings, writer, who talked about his work with schools, and Steve Ball, Associate Director (Learning & Participation) at Birmingham Rep and chair of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), who talked about the Rep’s work and the recently-launched National Manifesto for Drama, Theatre and Young People. Also attending were Judy Owen (Freelance Producer), Caroline Jester (dramaturg at Birmingham Rep), Guy Hutchins (Moby Duck) and, of course, several writers and other drama practitioners.
There were a wide-ranging series of dicussions and the event allowed some in-depth discussion of issues in the field of young people’s theatre.
One of the most heated topics was around appropriate content (including both subject matter and language). There were several case studies considered and a wide range of views expressed. There was also a fascinating look at the marketing of productions and how to get audiences to come to see the work.