New Views is a year-long in-school playwriting programme for students aged 14-19. Each school is paired with a professional playwright who supports students to write their own original 30-minute plays.
The programme includes teacher CPD, tickets to one of our productions and entry into a competition where selected plays are performed at the National Theatre.
Applications for New Views 24/25 are now open.
What is New Views?
The New Views programme empowers students to:
- Tell stories that matter to them
- Develop playwriting techniques such as independent working, communication, and research through feedback
- Understand the power of theatre to create a shared experience of storytelling
- Explore and communicate ideas on the changing world
Present different perspectives
- Gain skills as practical facilitators
- Learn how to explore a range of relevant topics through creative writing
How New Views works
Any school or college can apply to take part in New Views. The programme is for school years 10–13, although slightly younger students may take part.
The cost for participation in New Views is:
State schools: £300
Independent schools: £600
Bursaries are available for state schools if the cost is a barrier to participation. The independent school cost includes a state school’s place on the programme.
Content warning: the materials used in this programme sometimes contain strong language and controversial subject matter which some might find offensive.
September: Teacher CPD
We invite teachers to a discovery day at the National Theatre, parts of which are live-streamed for those who can’t make it in person.
Participants are introduced to the programme, take part in workshops with professional playwrights and get to see one of our productions. This can be at the South Bank, on tour or in local cinemas via NT Live.
October to March: Workshops and theatre trips
Supported by their teachers, students follow the course at their own pace.
They take part in workshops with professional playwrights and see a National Theatre production. This can be in London, on tour, or in local cinemas via NT Live.
December to March: Drafting
Students write 30 minute plays about issues that matter to them. They submit a first draft in February, and have a feedback session with their playwright (in-person or online). In March, students submit their final drafts.
Mentor playwrights and a team of readers from the National Theatre read all the submitted plays. A shortlist goes to a panel of National Theatre creatives.
June – July: New Views Festival
The New Views festival takes place every summer. All shortlisted plays get a rehearsed reading with professional actors.
The young writers can be part of the rehearsal process with a professional director.
I think I most enjoyed having an opportunity for my writing to be read by my peers and professionals alike. I also really loved just having an excuse and some inspiration to get creative and write a play.
– Student, Mulberry UTC, New Views 2023
The feeling students had in completing not just their own play but more fundamentally, such a significant and weighty piece of writing meant that the sense of achievement was palpable.
– Teacher, Ackworth School, New Views 2023
Deborah Gearing is a playwright, translator and facilitator/collaborator, making theatre in unexpected spaces, unravelling histories and exploring human connection to the environment.
New Views is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation, Old Possum’s Practical Trust, The Steel Charitable Trust, Noël Coward Foundation and Chapman Charitable Trust.
Audible is the Official Audio Partner of New Views.
Nationwide learning is supported by Buffini Chao Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, Tim and Sarah Bunting, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust and Milton Grundy Foundation.
Secondary and FE Programme Manager
Secondary and FE Programme Coordinator
Schools Programmes Assistant
You can contact the New Views team on firstname.lastname@example.org
New Views Festival 2023 performance and rehearsed readings
Photos © Emma Hare
New Views Festival 2022 performance
Photos © Helen Murray
New Views Festival 2022 rehearsed reading
Photos © Olivia Spencer