This is a genuine offer to discover new stories and to champion writers whether or not they have written for the stage before. We welcome scripts from both new and established writers with a story to tell and scripts that use new technology, physical theatre, puppets or other interesting staging and production devices.

The successful entry will have their script performed as a rehearsed reading by professional actors and director in the Dorset Artists Festival in January 2022. There is also a cash prize of £1,500 and the potential for a further commission towards a full production.

50 submitted scripts that fit the brief will be read and given brief feedback. If more than 50 scripts that fit the brief are submitted, we reserve the right to read the first 20 minutes and choose which scripts to read in full. Your synopsis and supporting information will help us decide which scripts to pursue.

· Deadline for entries 31 October 2021

· Prize winner to be announced 15 December 2021

· Rehearsed Reading at the Dorset Artists Festival on Wednesday 26 January 2022


Important– to be considered your script will need to comply to all the following criteria:

· suitable to be performed in the Lighthouse’s Sherling Studio

· run at a minimum of 60 mins

· maximum cast of six – ie suitable for studio scale budgets

· the scripts must be written in English.

· the script must be unpublished and not been performed (including non-professional productions).

· The script has been written since 2019

· You (the writer(s) holds exclusive rights to the work

In addition – you or your script should include at least one of the following criteria:

· Includes themes that address issues and celebrate people of the Global Majority, those who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQ+

· You and/or cast members include people of the Global Majority, those who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQ+

· You are based in Dorset

· Includes themes that address contemporary rural and/or seaside issues

We want our commissioned artists and writers to reflect our audiences and communities. We encourage applications from people who are under-represented in the arts, including people who experience racism, identify as working class, have disabilities, are from the LGBTQ+ community, are care experienced or are discriminated against.

To apply please download and complete the Application Form and send it, along with your script to: 

If you are unable to download the application form and require a version in Word format, please email who will be happy to email you a copy. 

Paula Hammond, Producer: artist development 

This has been made possible with support from Garfield Weston Foundation