UJ Arts launches online playwriting lab

Lakin Morgan-Baatjies

UJ Arts & Culture invites aspirant and established playwrights to apply for participation in its online playwriting laboratory.

  The UJ Playwriting Lab is designed to support the development of new creative content. Over the past few years, numerous new works were developed in collaboration, in partnership or residence at UJ Arts & Culture.

  Among those, are Induku, Dear Mr Government, Please may I have a meeting with you, even though I am six years old? and Pink Money.

  The aim of this six-month programme is for participants to complete the script for a 60-90 minute one-act play.

  UJ Arts & Culture will select up to four works for staged readings in 2021, where some of the works might be selected for a full-scale production.

   Head of UJ Arts & Culture Pieter Jacobs says: “Most of the playwrights I know don’t follow a step-by-step process or ‘recipe’ to write a play. Most of the time it involves a smorgasbord of methods, techniques and tricks. The UJ Playwriting Lab strives to create a learning-by-doing environment through online master classes, forum discussions and on-going critical feedback over a writing-intensive period. While writing, generally, is a solitary endeavour we hope that this programme will make the journey a little less lonely,” he adds.

  The programme will be presented in English but participants may also write scripts in SeTswana, South and North Sotho (SeSotho and SePedi) and Afrikaans.

  The programme will be facilitated by Jacobs and playwright Omphile Molusi; award-winning director Jade Bowers and an independent director and facilitator Tshego Khutsoane will join the programme as writing advisors.

  Master classes on a range of topics will be presented by writing advisors and other writers, including Mike van Graan, Napo Masheane, Ismail Mahomed and Amy Jephta.

  Applicants are required to submit one monologue of not more than 400 words; and a dialogue, not more than 600 words.

  The online form should be completed and submitted by no later than 18 April 2020. For more information visit 

  To ensure that participants gain meaningful value from the process and that scripts developed are as close to ready for production as possible, a limited number of participants will be selected.

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