Madani Younis revamps Bush's new writing policy
In his address at the Radar's opening platform event he said: "I want the Bush Theatre to be a place where ideas and practice can be stimulated, where our history and present collide to reflect and embrace the breadth of new writing."
"At present a playwright can submit an unsolicited play to us any day of the year through our digital platform Bushgreen. Historically the conversion rate of these unsolicited plays into full production is less than 0.1%. We invest £20,000 per year into resourcing this process of reading and administration. This process can and does result in us having conversations with playwrights. It is clear to us that we are panning for gold in too wider a river with too small a pan. So we ask ourselves ‘is this really the best way to find and nurture talent?"
"A new plan was needed. A plan that would be a more robust process that would demonstrate our commitment to the plays of unsolicited playwrights, and critically, a commitment to producing them."
The company's new Unsolicited Submissions Policy will be seasonal, inviting writers to submit their work twice a year for a window of three weeks.
Younis said: "It will be open to playwrights, solo writer/performers and companies who are developing new writing in the early stages of their careers, that are unrepresented (and that have had a maximum of one professional production of their work staged). It will seek to discover original plays and projects that haven’t been produced nor developed before. Most importantly, it will look for playwrights and artists that the Bush Theatre wants to develop for the future."
Each strand of work will have an "experienced artist" leading the selection process. After each submission window a group of applicants will be selected to be mentored by a specific artist or company and invited to attend a weekend-long development workshop at the theatre.
Following the workshop, a selected group of playwrights and companies will be given a seed commission to further develop their submitted play or project, or to develop a new one from scratch.
Younis, who was appointed artistic director last summer following the venue's relocation to the old Shepherd's Bush Library, added: "The Bush Theatre commits to bring to full production at least one unsolicited submission per year in its main programme from 2014."