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Re-opening Spring 2021 Submissions

New submissions deadline: 31 January 2021

We’ve received a number of submissions for spring 2021 which we’re now in the process of considering. Thanks to all of you who’ve submitted so far.

The news that we can revert to putting on limited productions and resume our short season is obviously very welcome, but of course we can’t be certain of what next year will bring in the way of restrictions which will determine the way we rehearse and stage our shows. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the need to be flexible and responsive to change – plus we know that what we asked of prospective directors in seeking out plays within the deadline was quite a tough challenge.

In light of that, we’ve decided that it may be pragmatic to announce our programme on a rolling rather than a seasonal basis, with a few shows at a time in the pipeline rather than committing to a full season all at once. We’d therefore like to invite prospective directors to submit plays within slightly different parameters (see below), to meet what may well be evolving conditions over the first half of the year and maybe beyond, with a new deadline of 31 January 2021.

These conditions may include potential relaxation of social distancing rules, number of people permitted to mix, use of space and so on. We still think it’s unlikely we’ll be allowed large casts (or audiences) with physical interaction for some time to come, but we hope that this may provide some food for thought. We intend to continue streaming at least one night of each production where rights allow.

As a community theatre, we seek to be representative of our diverse community in terms of our play choices and both the actors and directors getting involved; so we would especially welcome submissions from directors of BAME and LGBTQ+ origin, or those approaching drama from the perspective of living with a disability.

Please submit plays that meet the following criteria, using the online form at the bottom of the page: 

  • Preferably no longer than around 2 hours, including any interval
  • A whole, discrete play and not an extract from a longer work (though if it’s constructed from a series of monologues or poems, we’d consider a shortened version if it doesn’t detract from the overall intention of the work)
  • A great story that can be told with a minimal set and without lots of complicated props or costume changes. 
  • A story that can be told without physical contact between the actors, so that we can ensure social distancing throughout rehearsals and the performance
  • Until such time as the rule of 6 is relaxed indoors, we will need to stick with casts of 4 or fewer for the moment, but hope that we can look to increase that later in the year, probably post Easter – though probably still relatively small casts of 6 – 7 to enable social distancing. (All actors over 18 years of age makes it easier)
  • It can be something you’ve written yourself, but you must submit a fully-fledged play and not a sketch or an idea (though dialogue can be improvised). If it meets our criteria and we like the work, we can help you find a director

We would like to be able to offer a streamed performance for all the shows we put on next year. It won’t be a dealbreaker if we can’t get streaming rights, but it’s worth remembering that shows that have recently been performed in central London are going to be more challenging for us to obtain rights for live shows, let alone streamed performances. It’s also worth noting that you would need to choose either rights-free or very inexpensive copyrighted music for your show because of the need to license music present on a live stream. 

For anyone new to our submissions process, you don’t have to be a member of SLT to submit, but if you’re successful you would need to take out membership before you hold any auditions. Find out more here.

Please also be aware that we don’t allow pre-casting of any shows, in order that a wide spectrum of people get a chance to audition. We help you to organise these auditions, either via Zoom or at The Old Fire Station. As a non-professional theatre, no-one is paid for directing or performing in a show, but nor is anyone expected to pay anything towards the cost of putting on that show, apart from taking out SLT membership.

So choose carefully, fill in the form below by midnight on 31 January 2021 – it will come to us automatically. You’ll also need to submit a copy of the script via email to theatrecommittee@southlondontheatre.co.uk, or send a hard copy by post to Theatre Committee, The Old Fire Station, 2A Norwood High Street, London SE27 2NS – please let us know that you’ve posted it.

If you’d like any advice or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email theatrecommittee@southlondontheatre.co.uk We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Barry, Ben & Cal

SLT Theatre Committee

Complete the Submissions Form here