New Writing

Interested in writing for the Woodhouse Players? Then before you pick up your pen, take a quick look at this FAQ to see how new writing works in the group.

What sort of new writing do you put on?

Recently Woodhouse has put on home written plays as part of our Spring triple bill, and our annual Christmas Panto.

The Spring triple bill is three one act plays, which also go to Waltham Forest and Havering drama festivals (we've won the best original play award at both festivals).

The panto is over the new year period, and traditionally involves jokes. We've also put on plays as rehearsed readings. These involve a small amount of rehearsal, and limited set, and are basically on a zero Budget. But can be a good way of trying new things out.

However, we're quite happy for people to put forward home written plays for our Summer and Autumn productions (full length plays), or for other sorts of production (rehearsed readings, productions at other venues etc). Have a look at the list of productions to see the plays, and home written plays, we've done in the past. We're normally willing to try something new and different.

Any Restrictions on the plays?

For drama festivals, one-act plays have to be between 20 and 55 minutes long, and have a cast of at least two, and have a set that can be moved on stage in under 10 minutes, and removed in less than 5. These plays have to live within quite a limited budget (which can be quite an interesting imaginative challenge for a writer).

More generally Woodhouse is group of amateur actors, so its best not to write in really precise physical descriptions or details, so try to avoid relying on, say, an Elvis impersonator being able to juggle knives if you can avoid it; it just makes the play harder to cast. Similarly one act plays tend to have between 2 and 6 people in them - we can do plays with larger casts, but it makes things harder (could some of the parts double up?).

Similarly we have to live within the capacities of our venue - if you're not sure then come along to a rehearsal at the Welsh Church, and have a look at what we could fit on the stage. However, we can, and do, work round all sorts of requirements when the play really demands it, so don't let this stop you writing something if the play really needs it.

Who chooses what plays you do?

See here for more information about how plays are chosen. New writing goes through the same process: we have an open read through and anyone in the group can come along and give their comments.


At the read through where we choose plays we normally read through an excerpt from the play. If it's chosen then the writer will have a chance to edit the play (e.g. after any comments at the read through). The plays doesn't have to be finished when we choose it, but the group likes to see enough to get a good idea of the final product.

Do I have to direct what I've written?

No. Very roughly around half of the new writing we've produced was directed by the writer, around half directed by someone else.

If you've got any questions then contact a member of the committee