Fifteen plays will be commissioned under a new scheme to address a "devastating" decline in opportunities during the pandemic.
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB), HighTide Theatre, UK Theatre and the Independent Theatre Council have partnered on the New Play Commission Scheme, securing £50,000 in funding. There is a £5,000 award for the best play by an unpublished writer.
A survey of UK Theatre members revealed new commissions had declined by a third since 2019/20, while a poll of WGGB members indiciated three quarters of playwrights had lost income during Covid-19. Half believed they would not be working in theatre in two years' time.
HighTide Artistic Director Suba Das said the commissions not only offer "a lifeline to both writers and companies across the UK but helps ensure new writing forms part of how we all move forwards as citizens and communities".
The scheme will launch in April.