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Friday, 6th March, 2015
Student Theatre Puts Writers in the Spotlight
The Victoria University Theatre Company (VUTC) is proud to announce the launch of their inaugural Pitch Competition. The free-to-enter competition offers student writers publishing with a difference – the opportunity to take their work from page to stage. The best pitch will see the show realised as a fully-funded production.
The competition encourages students to branch out and try stage writing for the first time. Entries take the form of a short pitch – sometimes referred to as an ‘elevator pitch’ – and a summary of the play’s plot. “Pitching ideas often helps a writer clarify exactly what their purpose is and also define their audience,” says Susan Holmes, lecturer in professional and creative writing at Victoria University. Stripping ideas to their core is a foundational tool for working writers. “No-one will read your screenplay unless you have a great pitch”, writes Leon Kaye, an established US playwright. “The story has to grab them.”
Theatre productions often cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to bring to the stage. For many companies, taking on an untested script is a gamble to avoid, making it difficult for first-time playwrights to break into the industry. That’s what makes this initiative valuable to students who want to get their work ‘published’ in performance. “It is crucial to publish at university if you want to publish afterwards,” says John Weldon, author of Spincycle. “A degree is not a ticket to a career, it’s a ticket to stand in a line, and publishing gets you further up that line”. A successful theatre production, for example, can help a writer to get work in the film or TV industry.
The student theatre made their debut last year during Fringe Festival, and went on to produce their first student-written work. This year, student-devised shows are a major goal for Vice-President Nikolaos Kiannies, who states that “we’ve chosen [to do this] to showcase the diversity and creativity that exists at Victoria University. That creativity stems from our variety of students’ ethnic and cultural backgrounds – these house their own personal and social creative narratives”.
More information about the competition can be found on the VUTC website at vutheatre.wordpress.com/pitch-competition/
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