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Call goes out for next joint Writer in Residence

29th January 2016

Northumbria University and Live Theatre have announced a call for applications for the next joint Writer in Residence to work across both organisations from September 2016.

The writer should have substantial experience of writing for theatre and performance; a strong current knowledge of modern and contemporary theatre practices, plays and playwrights; and a track record of professional production. The 12-month residency will allow the writer to develop their own practice, and share their expertise with communities at both Live Theatre and Northumbria. In addition to a £20,000 fee, the successful writer will gain access to space, resources and equipment, cultural and research networks, and support from academic, creative and professional staff from both organisations.

The residency will be tailored to the skills and interests of the successful applicant. It is anticipated that the Writer in Residence will research and develop an idea for play for Live Theatre, in line with the theatre’s mission and identity, which may lead to commission with the Theatre beyond the residency.  The Writer in Residence will also engage with Literary Department at Live Theatre, contribute to the teaching of Northumbria Performing Arts (NPA) undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and to the collaborative research culture of the University.

Lucy Winskell OBE, Northumbria University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Engagement) said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for an established playwright to work with Northumbria University and Live Theatre as our next Writer in Residence. 

“Following in the footsteps of Paddy Campbell, the successful candidate will contribute to the innovative partnership between our two organisations by engaging in a wide range of activities, from helping to shape collaborative research projects to developing new ways of teaching and learning for our students. 

“Our joint Writer in Residence programme is a unique and exciting role and another example of our highly successful partnership with Live Theatre.”

Gez Casey, Literary Manager Live Theatre, said: “This residency is a brilliant opportunity for a playwright to work both with a new writing theatre and also in an academic environment. In a programme specially tailored to the interests of the writer involved, it will provide the space and time to develop their own ideas and also to share their expertise with aspiring playwrights in the North East.  Live Theatre is delighted to be working once again with our partners at Northumbria University in providing the resources and support for such a flexible and unique residency.”

This is the second year of Live Theatre and Northumbria University’s three-year collaborative residency programme running between 2015-2018. The first joint Writer in Residence is Paddy Campbell, writer of Live Theatre successes Wet House and Day of the Flymo, and a Northumbria University graduate. Paddy is spending the year developing new work and collaborating with students and staff at Northumbria to enhance research and teaching.

Paddy Campbell, the current joint Writer in Residence, said: “I feel greatly privileged to have been given this opportunity. Live Theatre has supported my writing from the very start and I'm thrilled to have the chance to develop new plays for the company during my residency. I moved to Newcastle fifteen years ago to study at Northumbria University and had such a good time I decided to stay. I'm hugely grateful to Northumbria for their partnership in this residency and am enjoying working with both organisations as part of the residency.”

Steve Gilroy, Director of Performing Arts Programmes, Northumbria University said: “Our partnership with Live Theatre presents great opportunities for our students and valuable links for our own research and professional practice community. Relationships with excellent arts and cultural organisations like Live Theatre illustrate the industry focus of Performing Arts at Northumbria University Newcastle.”

Previous Writers in Residence at Live Theatre include Lee Hall whose work includes Billy Elliot, The Pitmen Painters and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, and Julia Darling whose plays The Last Post, Attachment and Personal Belongings were developed during her time as Writer in Residence between 2001 and 2003.

The writer in residence programme is the cornerstone of an exciting and innovative partnership between Northumbria and Live Theatre, which seeks to create cultural collaborations that connect with the people of the North East, enhance teaching and learning, inspire new research, and connect academic research with the world of professional theatre.

The deadline for applications for Writer in Residence is Monday 22 February 2016. For more information and how to apply, applicants are encouraged to see or

For more information about Live Theatre visit

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