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How it works

Production Shot of Variations - 2019 Connections Festival

How it works

Connections is the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Each year it offers a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school theatre groups to stage new plays written for young people by some of theatre’s most exciting playwrights, and to perform in leading theatres across the UK.

This year we will work with 300 youth theatres and schools to stage ten fantastic plays especially commissioned by the National Theatre for Connections. We’ll provide all the support you’ll need and you’ll have the chance to stage your play in one of our leading partner theatres across the UK.

Applications for Connections 2022 are now open and will close at midday on Wednesday 1st September 2021. 

Once we have approved your application we will let you know if you have a place by early September.
When you are given a place we will share the ten play scripts to begin reading.
Shortly afterwards you will also be issued with an invoice for your participation in Connections

We will ask you to choose two plays you would be happy to work on, and we will then confirm which you have been allocated. We ask for two choices because we need to ensure an even spread of plays at each Partner Theatre Festival.

We host a weekend of workshops for the 300 directors of each Connections shows. Over the course of the weekend everyone will spend time working with the writer of their play alongside the other directors who are doing that script. You will also have the chance to take part in other workshops and theatre skills sessions.

This year the Directors’ Weekend will be a mixture of digital and in person activity and run from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 October. The Directors' Weekend is a compulsory part of the Connections process, and we ask that everyone attends the writer's session on Saturday 23 October You are welcome to come sign up for any of the additional workshops across the week, and can also bring additional directors subject to availability.


This is when each director works with their company to rehearse their play ready for their Home Performances. At this time you will have contact with your fellow directors as well as the core Connections team via the Connections Community to ask any questions you have; share stories and problem solve.

As some of you are likely to be rehearsing digitally, the Connections 2021 Directors’ Weekend will include sessions on how to be creative when rehearsing in a digital environment.  

You can perform in your home venue up to five times. This could be your school, local theatre, church hall, institute etc. and is your chance to debut your Connections performance. A Connections Mentor Director will watch one of your performances; they will meet you and your company after the show to ask you about your experience and then write detailed development notes for your Partner Theatre transfer.

All companies will transfer from their home venues to a partner theatre. This is an exciting opportunity for you to showcase your performance on a professional stage as part of a youth theatre festival with fellow Connections companies. You will be supported by the teams at the theatre as well as a Connections Mentor Director.

Ten companies will perform as part of the NT Connections festival to represent each of the 10 plays. This is an exciting celebration of all of the hard work which has taken place throughout the year.


Photograph by The Other Richard

Contact us

The Connections team is part of the NT Learning Department. 

Kirsten Adam

Arianne Welsh
Assistant Producer

Georgia Choudhuri 
Connections Assistant 

Ola Animashawun
NT Associate and Connections Dramaturg 

You can contact the Connections team on [email protected] 



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