New Views 2015/16

New Views is the National Theatre’s annual playwriting programme for 15-19 year olds. Each year hundreds of students from across the UK learn about playwriting from some of the finest writers in the business and write their own 30 minute plays, with one play chosen to be staged at the NT with a professional cast.

The online course, written by playwright Jemma Kennedy, is accessible to everyone, but participating schools and colleges have the unique benefit of in-school workshops with professional writers, tickets to NT productions or NT Live broadcasts, CPD for teachers, support from NT Learning and entry into the New Views playwriting competition.

This year’s programme is running in 80 schools nationwide as well as in partner theatre programmes at the Bristol Old Vic, Leicester Curve and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Applications for New Views 2015/16 (September 2015 – July 2016) are now closed.

Hear from the professionals with their top tips for first time writers

How New Views works


Students follow our specially created online course for school-based writing groups; see NT productions − in London or in local cinemas via NT Live − and take part in workshops with professional writers (October -March).


Students write half-hour plays about the real-life issues that matter to them (December − April), stage readings of their work in school and have a chance to see their play produced by the National Theatre with a professional cast (July).


Teachers visit the NT for training and support to establish and lead thriving extra-curricular writing groups in school or college (September). We encourage participating schools to combine New Views with the Gold Arts Award and we offer Gold Award Adviser training as part of the package. (September). There’s also the chance to submit your play to the NT and receive feedback from the Literary Department.

Who can take part?

• New Views will work with approximately 80 schools and colleges from around the UK and worldwide each year.
• Any school can apply to take part in the programme*.
• Each school will establish a student group of 5−10 students − but talk to us if you’re not sure if you’ll be able to get as many as that or if you have more students keen to take part
• The programme is aimed at Yrs11−13 although younger students may take part at the discretion of individual schools

Cost: £300 (Bursaries available; please email newviews@nationaltheatre.org.uk to find out more).

*We ask that Independent schools wishing to take part in the programme sponsor a state school to take part alongside them. If you are applying to take part on behalf of an independent school, please email newviews@nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information.

What will students gain from the New Views programme?

Through taking part in the New Views programme students will have a unique and exciting opportunity to:
• Explore their talent, sharpen their approach to research, as well as their ability to develop and articulate ideas on key ethical questions and dilemmas
• Develop a sense of connection to the arts, a lifelong enthusiasm for theatre and an understanding of the power of theatre to engage audiences in serious debate
• Develop their transferable skills for employment and further study including self-management; team working; communication; application of literacy; problem solving; independence and critical engagement with subject material

If you have any questions about taking part, please contact New Views Programme Coordinator Liz Bate on 020 7452 3692 or newviews@nationaltheatre.org.uk

New Views 2015/2016 is supported by:

  • Old Possum’s Practical Trust

  • The Chapman Charitable Trust

  • The Golsoncott Foundation

WARNING: The materials of this course contain strong language and controversial subject matter which some may find offensive.

N.B. The views expressed in the recorded interviews are those of the playwrights only, and not of the National Theatre.