skip to main content

How it works

A group of young people performing onstage, in 'Variations' by Katie Hims

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 2023 are now closed. 

Once we have approved your application, we will let you know if you have a place by the end of July 2022. When you are given a place, we will share the ten play scripts so you can begin reading to select your play. 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 show. Over the course of the weekend, directors will spend time working with the writer of their chosen play. 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 21 to Sunday 23 October 2022. The Directors' Weekend is a compulsory part of the Connections process, and we ask that everyone attends the writer's session on Saturday 22 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 to ask any questions you have; share stories and problem solve. 

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 Helen Murray 

Contact us

The Connections team is part of the NT Learning Department. 

Kirsten Adam

Jenny Wilkinson
Assistant Producer

Georgia Choudhuri 
Connections Assistant 

Ola Animashawun
NT Associate and Connections Dramaturg 

You can contact the Connections team on [email protected] 



Buffini Chao Foundation