Skip to main content
The writer of the winning play New Views Festival 2023, taking a bow on the Oliver Stage with her cast.

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.

The New Views Festival 2024 is taking place on 4 and 5 July, at the National Theatre.

Stay up-to-date 💌

Get our schools newsletter

We’ll send you updates once per term, with the latest resources, events and opportunities for your school.

What is New Views?

Two people holding scripts, one of them is smiling during a New Views rehearsed reading

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

Teachers will:

  • 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.

Find out more with our New Views digital handbook

Content warning: the materials used in this programme sometimes contain strong language and controversial subject matter which some might find offensive.

Two actors standing, reading scripts for Moonlit Dances a rehearsed reading, read as part of the New Views Festival 2023

Timeline

Five teachers sat in a row taking part in a Drama Teacher conference 2023

Training

 

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.

Writing

 

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.

May: Shortlisting

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.

Three actors reading forthe rehearsed readings of New Views 2023. One is stood, throwing a paper ball. The other two are sat down.
Five actors on the Olivier stage dressed in school uniform, The performance of the winning play for New Views 2023.

Performing

 

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.

Past Festivals

2023 Festival

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

2022 Festival

The writer of 'Barrier(s)', New Views winner 21/22, Eloise Pennycott standing on stage receiving applause alongside the two female actors
Play Video

Celebrating 10 Years of New Views, 2022

Associate playwrights

Deborah Gearing is a playwright, translator and facilitator/collaborator, making theatre in unexpected spaces, unravelling histories and exploring human connection to the environment.

Our funders

New Views is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, Buffini Chao Foundation, Old Possum’s Practical Trust, Kusuma Trust UK, Unwin Charitable Trust, Noël Coward Foundation, Chapman Charitable Trust and The Golsoncott Foundation

Audible is the Official Audio Partner of New Views.

Nationwide learning is supported by Buffini Chao Foundation and Clore Duffield Foundation, Tim & Sarah Bunting, MFPA Trust Fund for the Training of Disabled Children in the Arts, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, and The Andor Charitable Trust.

Contact us

Katy McEntee
Senior Coordinator, Schools Engagement

Jess Martins
Coordinator, Schools Engagement

You can contact the New Views team on newviews@nationaltheatre.org.uk

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

 

 

More to explore