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Can international companies take part?

International companies will be able to attend the Directors' Weekend, but will not automatically receive a visit from a Connections Director, development notes or the opportunity to perform at a Partner Theatre Festival. If you would like a Connections Director to attend and are able to finance their trip yourself, then we are happy to organise and administrate this. If possible, we will also try to accommodate your company at a Partner Theatre Festival, but priority will go to UK companies. The fee for international companies is still the same as for UK companies.

Other than the fee, what other costs are involved?

The costs incurred will vary from company to company. These could include travel, accommodation, rehearsal and production costs and venue hire. There is advice on fundraising in your Connections Handbook.

Which Partner Theatre will I be working with?

We will let you know by mid-October.
We encourage companies to work with their closest Partner Theatre as we hope you will develop a relationship that will continue after Connections. The proximity will also have implications on costs and audience numbers during the transfer to the Partner Theatre Festival.

Is Connections a competition?

It is not a formal competition or an assessment of ability.

Connections is a showcase of the national spread and the diversity of groups taking part. The companies chosen to perform at the NT Festival are selected by the Connections team, directors and writers. One production of each play will be transferred to the National Theatre festival in London.

We do look for clarity and audibility, clear story-telling, conviction and energy in the cast, and pace. We like to see productions that have observed and realised the writer’s intentions for the play, as the NT Festival is also a showcase for the plays themselves. We are also interested in how groups respond to feedback from the Connections Director when transferring their play to the Partner Theatre Festival.

Can I enter two or more groups?

We will accept more than one application from the same company, however we won't necessarily select both applications. 

What happens if I'm not accepted on to Connections?

We'll let you know in July  whether your application has been successful. Even if you were unsuccessful in your application for Connections 2019, we would encourage you to apply for Connections 2020. Unless you indicate otherwise, we will also add you to a waiting list should any companies withdraw their application prior to the Directors’ Weekend.


When can I apply for Connections 2021?

Applications for Connections 2021 will open in April 2020. 

To keep up to date with Connections news and the work of the NT Learning Department, please see the  National Theatre Learning website.

Can my students use Connections as part of a course they are studying?

Yes. Many companies use the play as part of their BTEC, A-levels or Arts Award. This is something which must be arranged through your school/college. National Theatre Connections is not linked to exam boards. Performances must still fall in the time frame for Connections. For more information you should contact your Arts Award regional coordinator.


How do I acquire the rights to the plays?

The NT holds the rights to plays commissioned for Connections for two months after the NT Connections Festival (in July). 

If the NT produces a professional play then the NT holds exclusive performance rights for the full duration of the run. If the NT does not produce a professional production, the rights are then released back to the writer. Until the option period or run has ceased the NT cannot release the rights for any of the plays.

After either of these periods has expired, if you wish to perform a past Connections script, you must contact the relevant writer’s agent to obtain the rights. Each year new Connections plays are published in an anthology, which also contains details of writers’ agents.

When staging a Connections play, the following credit should be used: [TITLE OF PLAY] by [WRITER] was first commissioned and produced by National Theatre Connections in [YEAR OF PRODUCTION]


Photograph by Richard Hubert Smith

Contact us

The Connections team is part of the NT Learning Department. 

Kirsten Adam

Arianne Welsh
Assistant Producer

You can contact the Connections team on or 020 7452 3313

Connections is supported by The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Buffini Chao Foundation, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Jacqueline and Richard Worswick, The Peter Cundill Foundation, Mactaggart Third Fund, The EBM Charitable Trust, Samantha and Richard Campbell-Breeden, Susan Miller and Byron Grote, The Broughton Family Charitable Trust and The Derrill Allatt Foundation

The National Theatre's Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch

 Buffini Chao Foundation    Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation    Delta Airlines