Every year New Views, the National Theatre’s pioneering playwriting programme for 14-19-year-olds, gives hundreds of students from across the UK the opportunity to learn about playwriting from some of the UK’s finest writers and to write their own 30-minute plays. A selection of these plays are then presented as rehearsed readings at the NT, with one young playwright being given the chance to see their work brought to life on a National Theatre stage by a professional cast and crew.
Open to any school or college, New Views students sharpen their approach to research, as well as their ability to develop and articulate ideas on issues they care deeply about, and they gain real transferable skills. Through New Views, students gain a sense of connection to the arts, an enthusiasm for theatre and an understanding its power to engage audiences in serious debate. Playwright Simon Stephens, a member of the judging panel for the 2017 competition, says ‘Reading these plays charged me with great enthusiasm at a time when our country needs its young voices to sing more clearly than ever before.’