Unheard Voices

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Our Unheard Voices programme to connect, inspire and empower writers whose voices need to be heard, will take place in 2022 with an expanded focus, following a pause caused by the pandemic.

This past year has shown us more than ever how important it is to platform and nurture the voices of those who need it most. Therefore, as we re-launch Unheard Voices, we’re expanding our pool of eligible writers to ensure that we are empowering more writers from different walks of life and lived experiences. We are very aware that this is a long and complex journey and these are the very first steps however we are committed and willing to listen and learn, and develop an ongoing experience with our vast and diverse community of writers.

Please note that previous applications are still valid but if applicants feel that their existing submission is no longer relevant or was produced under challenging circumstances, we are happy for you to re-submit.

Unheard Voices is a new Sherman Theatre programme designed to help ensure that unheard voices get heard. In its first year that Unheard Voices will support 20 Welsh and Wales-based writers who are one or several of the following:

· Women
· From Diverse Ethnic Communities
· LGBTQ+
· D/deaf or disabled

Our aim is to connect, inspire and empower.

What will the year involve?

Unheard Voices is a valuable opportunity to share your voice and have it supported by your peers and the Sherman Theatre. You will develop your writing skills through a series of 12 master classes delivered by key figures in theatre who identify as one or several of the above characteristics.

There will be two online masterclasses a month. We also believe access to the theatre is vital. During this programme you will be invited to Sherman Theatre production press nights which are a valuable networking opportunity. You are welcome to come and work and spend time in the Sherman foyer too and enjoy a discount on non-alcoholic beverages and food at the Sherman Cafe Bar. At the end of the programme, all writers will be invited to attend an all-encompassing weekend led by the Sherman Theatre’s Artistic team to reflect, share work and discuss your experiences on the programme, and future opportunities.

What do we hope you will gain from the year?

You will have had the opportunity to learn from and connect with expert practitioners, develop your networks in the industry and gain confidence sharing your story with the pursuit of continuing to do so. We hope you will have also benefitted from connecting with members of the Sherman Theatre team during your time with us, giving you the space to experience working with and within an organisation. Once the programme has ended we hope you will feel you have built a platform on which you can further develop your career and ensure that your voice is heard and that there will be a continuous relationship with us.

Who is it for?

The programme is for Welsh and Wales-based writers with any level of experience aged 18+. You don’t need to have extensive experience in writing for any medium, we’re looking for those with a story to tell and the urgency to do so. We especially want to hear from you if you have yet to have work staged or commissioned. Unheard Voices was created to platform and support new and exciting stories.

Who will decide who will take part in the programme?

A panel of diverse theatre practitioners will consider submissions from those who would like to take part in the programme. There are 20 places and places will be offered based purely on potential.

What is the process for applying to be on the programme?

– The panel will consider submissions from Welsh or Wales-based writers who are one or several of the following:

· Women
· From Diverse Ethnic Communities
· LGBTQ+
· D/deaf or disabled

– Submissions are now open. The deadline is 31 Dec.

– The programme will run from January to July with two online masterclasses a month and a weekend at Sherman Theatre in July 2022.

– A submission can either be a short extract of work (ideally an example of your writing for the stage) or if you have yet to write a play it can be a paragraph or video (up to 5 minutes) explaining who you are and what stories or themes you would like to explore and share. If you have any questions please email branwen.davies@shermantheatre.co.uk

– Submissions will be accepted in either English or Welsh (bilingual scripts will also be accepted).

– Please email your submission to literary@shermantheatre.co.uk

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