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Writer Commission – Aberdeen Performing Arts Youth Theatre

Call Out

Writer Commission – Aberdeen Performing Arts Youth Theatre


We are looking to commission a writer who will create an inspiring, relevant and exciting new play with our youth theatre participants to be performed at The Lemon Tree as part of Light The Blue 2024.

Light The Blue is our annual multi-artform festival for and by young people, celebrating the creativity of those aged 5-25 through a programme of theatre, dance, music, film and more. Find out more about 2023’s festival.


What we’re looking for

The successful writer will work with young people aged 12-18 across three youth theatre groups (each with up to 25 participants) to create a short play that reflects who they are as young people. One script will be created which all three groups will interpret and stage in their own way. It could be a linear story, a series of inter-connected vignettes or something else. Text will be at the heart of the eventual piece, which may be supported by movement, music and/or other mediums.

It is anticipated the script will feature elements which are open to interpretation by each group of performers – i.e. a scene where sentences have missing lines; a suggestion of something that happens through movement, etc.

The writer will work collaboratively with the Director/Facilitator of each group supported by a Creative Assistant. The project will be managed by the Creative Producer for Light The Blue and a further team of creatives will work on the final production. The writer will receive dramaturgical support and have access to writing space within our venues.


Who we’re looking for

We’re keen to work with writers who can bring their own style, vision and story to the table, and who are committed to collaborating with the young people in the research, development and rehearsal process.

This opportunity would best suit a Scottish-based emerging to mid-career writer with a genuine interest in and/or experience in making work with and for young people. We are particularly keen to hear from those based in or with a connection to Aberdeen and/or the North-East and from those who feel their voices are not well represented on Scottish stages.



The envisaged timeline for the project is as follows:

  • Application Deadline – 15th September 2023 at 11pm
  • Shortlist Decisions Communicated – by 21st September 2023
  • Shortlist Meetings – 26th and 27th September 2023
  • Writer Selected – by 2nd October 2023
  • R&D Sessions – 31st October to 16th November 2023 (2 sessions with each group, groups meet Tues – Thurs evenings)
  • First Draft Delivered – January 2024
  • Rehearsal Block One & Redrafts – January to March 2024 (2 sessions with each group)
  • Work In Progress Performance – March 2024 (closed performance)
  • Final Draft Delivered – April 2024
  • Rehearsal Block Two – April to June 2024 (1 session with each group)
  • Performances 8th – 16th June 2024, part of Light The Blue (2-3 public performances, to be scheduled)



The successful writer will be offered a fee of £5,085 for this project calculated as:

• £3,735 commission for a play under 30 minutes in length (FST/SSP) inclusive of research, meetings, drafting and presentation of final script.
• £1,350 for attendance at up to 15 development sessions and rehearsals with youth theatre groups (£90 per session). Attendance at sessions beyond this will not be reimbursed.

No royalty payment is offered as part of this commission due to performances being free/pay-what-you-can.

Reasonable travel and accommodation expenses will be offered if the successful writer is based outside Aberdeen.


To Apply

Interested writers are invited to apply via this online form.

The form will ask for:

  • Your contact details, base location and links to website/previous work
  • Max. 200 words on each of the following: your practice and relevant experience; why you are interested in this project; and the approach you would take to working with the young people
  • A link to a 5 – 10 page PDF extract of an existing piece of writing that you feel best showcases your style and is relevant to the project
  • Max. 200 words on any initial ideas you have for the play that you would write

The form will also link to an Diversity & Inclusion Monitoring Form which we ask all applicants to complete.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 15th September 2023 at 11pm.

We anticipate shortlisting 3 – 4 writers who will be invited to discuss their practice, interest and ideas with us. Shortlist meetings will ideally take place in person in Aberdeen.

To discuss submitting in an alternative format, ask any questions or arrange an informal chat about the opportunity, contact Jordan Blackwood (Creative Producer, Light The Blue) –

Click to download a PDF version of the  call out.