South Shields arts venue on lookout for next young writer in residence

A playwright who won a paid position at a South Tyneside arts venue is urging others to follow in his footsteps.

Reece Connolly
Reece Connolly

Reece Connolly secured the role of Young Writer in Residence at the Customs House, South Shields, last year.

Now, he is encouraging other writers to apply for the position which he described as a “life-changer”.

Wormtown - play penned by Reece Connolly

Reece, from Prudhoe, Northumberland who is now based in London, said: “North east writers should apply for this. I did it. I got it and it changed my life. Genuinely.

“I love this theatre so much. I love the friends I made there. I love how they believed in me and are continuing to support my work. Let them help you tell your stories.”

Reece’s play WORMTOWN was performed during the theatre’s Takeover Festival - which sees the venue taken over by emerging artists and arts professionals under the age of 25 for a week of theatre, dance, music, cinema, poetry, hip-hop and visual art.

Fiona Martin, deputy director of learning and participation at the theatre, said: “This year, we will build on the success of last year’s performance of WORMTOWN written by The Customs House’s first ever Young Writer in Residence, Reece Connolly.

“The show was incredibly well received, with an audience of almost 200 people. It was great to hear that Reece loved working with us.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity again and are seeking to appoint 2019’s Young Writer in Residence, who will benefit from mentoring delivered by a professional writer, resulting in a play that will be staged in our Main House as the finale piece of The Takeover Festival 2019.

“We are seeking submissions which have an authentic and relatable voice, with a narrative that is rooted in the north east.  The final version would run between 45 and 60 minutes, with no interval and would be suitable for audiences aged 14 and over.

“There would need to be roles for eight young actors, these may play single parts or as multi-roles. A final draft would need to be completed by May 3.

“Because of our funding, the Young Writer in Residence would need to aged 25 and under and be from/live in the north east of England.”

Eligible writers should submit their name, date of birth and a brief biography, along with the title of their play, a brief synopsis and up to 15 minutes of script, via e-mail to [email protected] before 5pm on Monday, March 18.