Capitalizing (on) new writing: new play development in the 1990s

Bolton, Jacqueline (2012) Capitalizing (on) new writing: new play development in the 1990s. Studies in Theatre and Performance, 32 (2). pp. 209-225. ISSN 1468-2761

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Capitalizing (on) new writing: new play development in the 1990s
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Following the critical and commercial successes of British theatre writing in the
mid-1990s, existing practices of new play development were stimulated by a renewed
industry focus upon new and emerging playwrights. This article critically appraises
the emergence of a ‘New Writing industry’ across English subsidized theatre from
the perspective of the burgeoning cultures of literary management that supported
its early successes. It argues that whilst the gradual professionalization of literary
management during the 1970s and 1980s was integral to the upsurge of new theatre
writing during the 1990s and 2000s, the imaginative parameters of playwrights
have also been provisionally delimited by the institutional resources and rhetoric of
new play development. From the grass-roots action of regional playwriting organizations
in the 1970s and 1980s, via the ‘flashpoint’ of the Royal Court’s 1994–1995
season, to the vogue for ‘first plays’ by ‘new playwrights’ that preoccupied the industry
at the turn of the millennium, this article attends to the material and discursive
practices that continue to shape the development and production of new theatre
writing today.

Keywords:new writing, dramaturgy, regional theatre, literary management, Royal Court, Arts Council
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:7619
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 20:10

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