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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Painkiller Project podcast seeks work

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Deadline: May 7, 2020 10PM

The Painkiller Project is a fortnightly playwriting competition with a small £150 prize for each winning play.

The winning play will be produced and released the following week as a podcast (available here). The winning playwright will also get the chance to have a "video coffee" with a line-up of established theatre makers over the coming weeks including Laura Wade, Ryan Craig, Anne-Louise Sarks and David Eldridge.

​We hope that the repetitive nature of the competition helps to make the project feel collaborative and cyclical - like theatre.

We hope this a good idea, it may not be - we don't know. If it works, however, we hope to improve it/keep it going every week that theatres in the UK remain closed.

We have already raised some money to get the project off the ground. If people like this idea and it grows, we hope to pay everyone else involved in the project. For this to happen, in the long run, we are going to be reliant on the generosity of others.

If you can afford to donate, or if you know anyone who might want to donate to the continuation of the project there are two options:

You can make a one-off donation through PayPal.me

Or, you can become a patron to the project through Patreon. This allows you to make a donation that would be repeated each time a new winning play is released, fortnightly.
Become a Patron
It would mean the world to us and allow us to make more work.

Any money raised will go exclusively towards the winning playwrights, designers, readers and actors.

Finally, please give us lots of feedback and let us know if you have any other questions - we want to make this something that feels like a collaborative experience that works for everyone who wants to be involved.

To get updates about The Painkiller Project you can subscribe to Bitter Pill's mailing list.

​Thank you for your support and spread the word!

The infomation.

Our next submssion window will be from Monday 4th May (10am) until Thursday 7th May (10pm) - please send to bitterpilltheatre@gmail.com

All submissions should be done with the following form attached. Download here. We encourage you to use a pen name. Plays should be written for 1 or 2 actors.

On Sunday 10th May we will announce one play that will become a podcast the following week, we will also release a shortlist this time.

The winner will receive £150 upfront. We will try to give feedback to as many plays as possible but will only give it if we think it is helpful rather than for the sake of it - we don't have all (or even many) of the answers!

Each winning play will be produced (in audio form) and released online approximately 1 week on from being announced as the winner.

Each winner will also have the chance to have a video coffee with an established theatre maker.

The method.
  • Using recording equipment and by working with innovative sound designers!
  • The plays will be rehearsed over online video technology, recorded and then released.
  • Once all this is over, we would hope to bring the winning plays together for some kind of physical event. 
The twist(s).

We are looking for short plays. Plays should between 500 and 1500 words.

For now, all plays need to be performable by a maximum of 2 actors.

All plays should have been written post 20 March 2020 (the day most theatre buildings closed in the UK). We also request you do not submit more than one play per submission window.
Plays with the following words included within them will still be considered but we wonder whether it might be a good idea to avoid them:

social distancing, coronavirus, COVID, the virus, self-isolation, self-isolate, antibody test, quarantine, ventilators, Chris Whitty, herd immunity, Lombardy, Wuhan, flattening the curve, stay at home, vaccine, Dyson, lockdown, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, pandemic, super spreader, Keir Starmer, antibody test, Houseparty (the app), Zoom (the app), Skype, shielding, Donald Trump, mortality rate, Matt Hancock, stock-piling, toilet paper (within the context of stock-piling), symptoms, asymptomatic, a new or continuous cough, PPE clothing, Sweden, Governor Cuomo, face mask.

Please note we're not suggesting you try and write a play about coronavirus which simply excludes these words. You can write about absolutely anything and it is probably inevitable that the state of things will influence everything and everyone at the moment. Tackling the subject head-on, however, and writing "The Resistible Rise of Rishi Sunak" or "Waiting for Herd Immunity" might be a bit premature!

Best of luck writing, and we hope people find this interesting! Let's try and make some plays. @BitterTheatre on Twitter for updates.

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