Bush Theatre and Talawa logos
The Bush Theatre is proud to be one of the three partner organisations to take part in the inaugural year of the Talawa Writers’ Programme. The Talawa Writers’ Programme is a new year-long development scheme for three Black British writers at different stages in their career to write a new play and build networks across the entertainment industry. Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Talawa Theatre Company will work together with the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and BBC writersroom to provide new and varied opportunities to develop their skills and enhance their careers.
The partnership with the Talawa Writers’ Programme, along with the recently announced Playwrights of New York residency, is part of the Bush Theatre’s ongoing commitment to discovering, nurturing and producing the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds.
Somalia Seaton, Inua Ellams and Theresa Ikoko are the three writers selected to take part in the scheme which aims to create lasting relationships between black writers and mid to large scale producing organisations, thereby opening meaningful networks and routes to sustained careers.
Each writer will be on attachment to Talawa Theatre Company and the partner organisations for a 12 month period where they will work on a full length commission destined for one of the partner theatres. Somalia Seaton will be at the Bush Theatre, Inua Ellams at Soho Theatre and Theresa Ikoko at Talawa Theatre Company. All three will also be supported by the BBC writersroom.
Alongside their commissions, writers will take part in monthly workshop sessions with inspiring practitioners, with theatre makers at Talawa or at the BBC writersroom with TV, radio and film practitioners.
Madani Younis, Artistic Director, Bush Theatre said: “Talawa’s long standing commitment to developing new and emerging writers and artists is getting a huge boost with the launch of Talawa Writers’ Programme. We’re honoured to have been asked to be part of the programme and are looking forward to working with Talawa and Somalia Seaton.”
The year-long investment by Talawa Theatre Company, the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and BBC writersroom represents a commitment to developing an enduring and sustained diversity in theatre. The partnership principle which underlies Talawa Writers’ Programme is a positive move. Together we can do it.”
Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa said: “Developing writers is absolutely integral to our work here at Talawa and I have wanted to create a bespoke writers programme for some time.
“I believe black writers will receive far greater value and career longevity if a number of organisations commit to developing the writer jointly in a participatory process. The writers then benefit from a wide variety of various organisations’ practices, opportunities and support, I look forward to working with our partners at the Bush, Soho and BBC writersroom and welcome the change it will bring.”
The Talawa Writers’ Programme is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.