Q: What experience do you need to be eligible to submit?
A: We welcome submissions from writers at all levels of experience, whether you are early in your career or established. Given the amount of applicants, it is unlikely that the competition is ideal for someone with no experience, but you never know! The plays are read anonymously, so the judges respond purely to the strength of the material, not to the reputation of the writer.
Q: What types of plays are you looking for?
A: There is no type of play we look for, as each year we leave ourselves open to being surprised. Our first winner was a Derbyshire-set play about a brother and sisters' lives as carers, and our recent winner was a Vampire story set in an Indian community. We generally look for plays that we feel could work on a regional touring circuit, rather than plays that would be better suited for a one-off run in a studio space in a big city. As a small scale touring company, we would also struggle to afford to tour a play with a cast larger than four.
Q: Do you only accept full-length plays?
A: Yes. We look for plays that can provide an audience with an entire evening's entertainment, so one act plays are unlikely to be considered unless they are substantial enough to fill an evening. If you have an alternative proposition, such as something site-specific, a curtain raiser or an audio work please get in touch with our artistic team separately. We have limited capacity to consider such work but are always interested in ideas.
Q: Do you have particular themes that you look for?
A: We never want to prescribe what a writer should write. As a company we have particular things that interest us; the rural world, the East Midlands region, specific communities. If you are deciding which of your plays to submit for Long Play have a look at our website and get a sense of our past and future work. However, do not write a play simply to suit our interests. Send us the work you believe in.
Q: Who judges the plays?
A: Each year the judges vary, but they usually involve key artistic staff at New Perspectives and often an outside practitioner.
Q: What do you mean by adaptation?
A: An adaptation is a play based on any other existing form; book, music, film, poem. We are happy to receive plays based on other media, but we need an assurance that you are able to obtain the rights. Books tend to go out of copyright 70 years after the death of the author.
Q: Does the winning play always receive a full production?
A: No. The winning play is the one we have selected as most suitable for touring, but we cannot commit to a full production. Our offer is to work with the writer to develop the play and after six months to make a final decision as to whether we wish to produce it. If we do not produce the play we will steer the writer towards potential partners, but again cannot guarantee its success.
Q: What does dramaturgical support mean?
A: It means a member of our artistic team works with the writer on developing further drafts and fine tuning. We will then do either a workshop or a public reading. Not every play will require a full six months of work, yet that is the maximum amount of time we offer to develop it.
Q: If my play is unsuccessful can I resubmit next year?
A: We are happy for the same writers to submit us new work each year. However, if a play has not been accepted one year, we ask that you do not resubmit it.
Q: Can I submit a play to New Perspectives outside of the Long Play competition?
A: We have very little capacity to consider new plays outside of Long Play. If you are not from the East Midlands and have something you want us to read, we recommend that you drop our artistic team an email and ask if they have an interest in the project.
Q: Any final words?
A: We will always receive more plays than we can accommodate, so do not be disheartened if your submission is unsuccessful. It is always a great privilege for us to read plays by writers from our region and we hope to get to know them and support them in other ways. We run Masterclasses throughout the year which are a great opportunity for professional development and learning from other writers. We also invite 4 writers on attachment to train with us each year. Both of these opportunities are advertised throughout the year so look out for them on our website. We are a busy but approachable company so if you have specific enquiries or help you need get in touch and we will always do our best.