Monday, 18 November, 7.30pm
Players Playwrights' Annual General Meeting (AGM). All Members very welcome to attend and take part.
Our unique programme of debuting original drama continues on Monday 25 November with Germkillers in America by Ronald Fernee, a radio drama based on a fascinating true story. More information closer to the production date.
AT A GLANCE diary of play readings and events for the autumn season
When Player Playwrights was founded in 1948 its aim was laid down as follows:
“To encourage the writing of plays by its members, by providing an opportunity for such plays to be presented and criticized by the Society; to widen the knowledge of all aspects of playwriting, by inviting to its meetings Speakers and Lecturers; to explore all avenues whereby members’ work may be presented to the public.”
Nearly seventy years later PP continues to bring together professional actors and writers with weekly play readings, actor and writer workshops, plus guest speaker events for its members. Previous events have included such guests as Alan Bennett, Michael Palin, writer/director Jessica Swale, producer Peter Huntley and directors David Grindley, Hannah Streeter from Paines Plough and Indhu Rubasingham.
We meet every Monday (excluding holidays) at the North London Tavern in Kilburn. You do not have to be a member to attend our Play Readings as we welcome anyone who would like to hear new writing. Audience entry is £2.50 for members and £4 for non-members.
Run by a committee of writers and actors, we keep our focus on new writing for the professional stage. However we also read radio drama, TV sitcoms and film scripts. In fact our very own presidents Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran tested their first scripts for Birds of a Feather on a PP audience. Despite having since been crowned “Living Legends”, they have not forgotten us and continue to test their work at Player Playwrights. We have even read the occasional musical!
Our weekly readings are performed by professional actors for an audience of actors and writers from varying backgrounds as well as friends and guests who come along to hear and react to new writing.
Parts are cast in advance and actors rehearse with the writer and a guest director prior to the reading. All scripts are evaluated members and mentored if necessary. While we are not a producing organisation, many plays first read at Player Playwrights have gone on to full production at a variety of venues in London and elsewhere, including the Edinburgh Fringe.
“The reception of the play was warm, the critiques offered were germane, helpful and without edge. It was a good start and I don’t hesitate in recommending Player Playwrights to any writer looking to try out and develop work”
-Mark Jagasia, author of ‘Clarion’ (Arcola 2015)
Our evenings normally commence with the reading of the piece in the programme for that week. There is then a short break for drinks followed by a discussion. We encourage members to attend regularly and contribute to the constructive criticism of the work presented.
At the end of the evening there is the opportunity for networking. Many of our professional actors are earning their living in the industry, and many of the scripts read are subsequently produced. This informal element of the evening offers members the chance to find out more about what is going on in the “wider world of theatre” and make useful contacts
Player Playwrights is a mutually supportive group of actors and writers. Members are encouraged to attend as regularly as possible and contribute to the constructive criticism of the work presented.
Prospective new members are encouraged to come along one evening as “guest” members (guest attendance is £4) to see what we have to offer and what they think.
If you want to join, there are three ways of doing so:
i) In person at a Monday night meeting. You will need to fill in a joining form available from the treasurer, and pay your first year’s subscription (£12) in cash or by cheque (made payable to Player Playwrights). There is a cash machine outside Sainsburys opposite our venue the North London Tavern.
ii) By post. You will need to fill in a joining form available from the treasurer, and send this together with a cheque for £12, made payable to Player Playwrights. Then send to Tony Diggle, 7 Cain Court, Castlebar Mews, Ealing, London, W5 1RY.
iii) 'By email and electronic transfer. Please contact the treasurer, Tony Diggle, for details on email@example.com
Player Playwrights accepts script submissions all year round. Selected scripts will be given a Monday night reading, and playwrights will receive feedback from our members. To be considered for a Player Playwrights' reading, writers are required to join Player Playwrights. Please read the following information before submission.
GETTING YOUR ACT TOGETHER
Our overriding aim
The overriding aim of Player Playwrights, as constituted in August 1948, is to help aspiring playwrights and scriptwriters to have their work performed in public. We give a (slightly) rehearsed reading on new plays by our professional actors and discussed and appraised by us all. The purpose is to assist the writer in preparing his or her work for sale, production and public performance.
Managing the programme
The Programme Secretary, Francis Beckett, produces three programmes a year in consultation with the writers and they cover three terms: Spring (January – Easter), Summer (Easter to July) and Autumn (September – December). Writers with a script to submit need to plan ahead and contact Francis as soon as the script is ready. Send a copy of your script by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. He will arrange for a mentor to assess it, and for a reading if the mentor and the writer agree that it is ready.
The mentoring scheme
In order for the writer to derive maximum benefit from the reading it is important that the script should be in as good a state as possible. Also scripts which are plainly unready are unfair on the actors and tedious for the audience. We therefore have a Mentoring scheme. Its essential feature is that no script will be read on a Monday evening unless a mentor has signed and submitted a form, confirming that the script is ready for a P-P reading at least 4 weeks before the reading date. The task of the mentor [following the role of Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey] is to give wise counsel and to save the writer from criticism for obvious flaws in the work. The mentor should not sign it off until satisfied that the script is ready for performance and may be expected to justify this decision in the discussion on the night. All members are eligible to act as mentors.
Preparing the scripts for the cast
Each member of cast must receive a hard copy of the script in font size 12 or 14 with pages numbered. Here are three further tips:
· Avoid loose pages. Preferred options are for scripts to be spiral bound or tagged
· Actors prefer to have their character’s name centred in bold above the dialogue
· Someone needs to read “directions”. We suggest casting that person as Narrator
On the night
Please prepare a short programme note with a cast list and your email address for distribution on the night; and try to get your cast together for a pre-reading at 6pm.
PLEASE REMEMBER: To be eligible to have your script mentored and considered for a reading you must be a paid up member of Player Playwrights. See above on how you can join.
You can send your scripts, in PDF form, to email@example.com
AT A GLANCE diary of play readings and events for the autumn season
All events Monday, 7.30pm, North London Tavern, 375 Kilburn High Rd, London, NW6 7QB
Monday, 11 November Short Play Competition: History As It Wasn't - for entry details click here
Monday, 18 November Annual general Meeting (AGM) Members are welcome to attend
Monday, 25 November Germkillers in America by Ronald Fernee
Monday 2 December Work in Progress/Excerpts member’s works in progress
Monday 9 December Xmas Party. Including Player Playwtrighs awards ceremony
Created by Caleb Estes