Young Playwrights

Young Playwrights is a bold, all-embracing experience in scriptwriting for writers aged 14-18. It’s a space for them to learn the ins and outs of playwriting, collaborate with professional creatives from NI & beyond, & be fearless in finding their own voices. Over a series of in-depth workshops, each writer creates their own original short play. They collaborate with professional directors, dramaturgs, actors & designers to bring it to life in a public performance. This final happening reveals the brave imagination & months of hard work the writers have put in, but the journey is the destination: It’s a beautiful, thoughtful roller-coaster from start to finish.

Every project looks different – shaped by the writers themselves, the forms we’re working in (playwriting for stage, radio or immersive theatre) & the places we work. The support & collaboration of fantastic venues around NI – Lyric Theatre & Ulster Museum (Belfast), Riverside Theatre (Coleraine) & The Playhouse (Derry|Londonderry) – makes these projects meaningful & memorable, reinforcing to these writers that their ideas are valuable.

Our projects are led by dedicated, professional mentors: writer & dramaturg Emily DeDakis and award-winning playwright & screenwriter Karis Kelly This is part of an island-wide Young Playwrights programme, carrying on a tradition of connections between Fighting Words centres & theatres that’s been going on for over a decade.

Play-making is a wild adventure; we love introducing the next generation of writers to this world, & helping them find a tribe of fellow scriptwriters. Our year-round Playwright Club meets every month, bringing together current & past Young Playwrights participants, plus anyone 14-18 who’s interested in scriptwriting.


Project Archive


Support for Young Playwrights

This programme is generously supported by the Backstage Trust and Foyle Foundation.

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