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Monday, January 9, 2012

Tinderbox Script Submissions guidelines (Belfast Ireland)

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Submitting a Play to Tinderbox

Tinderbox is always delighted to receive uncommissioned scripts submitted according to the guidelines below. The company has a script panel that will read and feed back on all plays. Tinderbox tries to give appropriate feedback to playwrights whatever experience they may have of writing for the stage.

If you wish to submit a play to Tinderbox, please bear in mind the following:

Please make sure you understand the company’s remit and artistic vision and output so that you send us appropriate material which we can genuinely consider.
Please submit the play in hardcopy

Tinderbox does not read plays submitted by e-mail unless there are exceptional circumstances
Plays do not need to be bound
Make sure the pages are numbered

Please enclose a covering letter with a paragraph about yourself and a paragraph about the idea behind the play (that is not the same as a synopsis!). Only send it in when the script is ready and tidy. i.e. minimise typos, spell check, make sure it is clear what are stage directions and what is dialogue. It is easier to read if there is white space in-between each character’s lines.

    Please include a cast list and any potential doubling
    Full name and contact details should be provided on the covering letter

Please note that Tinderbox is not able to consider the following for productions:

    Plays which have had a professional production elsewhere
    Novels and poetry
    Radio, television and film scripts
    Synopsis only submissions
    Adaptations and translations

Tinderbox will acknowledge receipt of a submitted script, which will then be sent to a member of the script panel. This panel consists of theatre practitioners with extensive experience in directing, writing or acting. The reader will write a detailed script report with constructive notes which the playwright will be offered. Please note, it may take up to three months from submission before a script report is ready.  Each play is given approximately 4 hours dedicated time from Tinderbox.

The reader will recommend to the Literary Manager what kind of follow up should be pursued or will ask for a second read to be done by another member of the panel.

We will use our discretion with plays that at a first glance are unsuitable for us due to length, large cast, space or technical requirements that we can not access. In these cases we will only read the first 30 pages and we will not be able to provide full feedback.

Work in progress

Tinderbox can read works in progress if it is clearly stated in the covering letter. In this case the material will not be considered for production but the script panel reader will focus on giving dramaturgical feed back on the ideas and work so far with emphasis on suggestions for how to move the work forward.


Finishing a play is a major achievement and something of which to be very proud. However the journey to a potential production is only beginning when a play is submitted to a theatre.

Tinderbox is a small touring company producing 2-3 productions a year, with approximately 70 scripts being submitted every year. In addition the company has several writers on commission at any one time.

Although it is very rare for a play that has come through the script panel to go directly into production, this should not deter you from writing to Tinderbox. In addition to productions the company provides support to writers in many different ways. If the company knows about you and your work, you can be kept in mind for future activities, pointed in appropriate alternative directions and alerted to other companies and opportunities. The most beneficial thing the company can offer in the short term will be the constructive feedback written by the script panel. Long-term it is important to build relationships with theatres and allow them to develop over a long period of time.

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