Submitting a Play to Tinderbox
Please submit plays either as PDF or as a word doc to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read the submissions guidelines carefully below and fill in our submission form and attach to the e-mail together with your script. We can not process scripts submitted without the form and the requested information.
Tinderbox receives over 100 scripts a year. We have a script panel that take time and care over scripts we read and provide appropriate response for the writer whichever level they are at. Our script readers are experienced theatre practitioners: playwrights, directors and dramaturgs.
Our script panel resources will be targeted towards writers in or from Northern Ireland first and foremost and Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK when the scripts are of interest to our audiences here in Belfast and Northern Ireland.
We will at times read international work in connection with special projects and will clearly state this on our website.
We can no longer guarantee in-depth feedback to all plays sent to us.
If you wish to submit a play to Tinderbox, please bear in mind the following:
• Please make sure you understand the company’s remit and artistic vision and output so that you send us appropriate material which we can genuinely consider.
• Please submit the play via e-mail in either a word or a PDF document and attach the completed submissions form.
• If you cannot submit your play via e-mail please send an unbound hard copy to our offices.
• Make sure the pages are numbered.
Please enclose a paragraph about yourself and a paragraph about the idea behind the play (that is not the same as a synopsis!).
Only send it in when the script is ready and tidy. i.e. minimise typos, spell check, make sure it is clear what are stage directions and what is dialogue. It is easier to read if there is white space in-between each character’s lines.
• Please include a cast list and any potential doubling
• Full name and contact details should be provided on the covering letter, the form or in the e-mail.
Please note that Tinderbox is not able to consider the following for productions:
• Plays which have had a professional production elsewhere
• Novels and poetry
• Radio, television and film scripts
• Synopsis only submissions
• Adaptations and translations
Tinderbox will acknowledge receipt of a submitted script. If appropriate the script will then be sent to a member of the script panel. This panel consists of theatre practitioners with extensive experience in directing, writing or acting. The reader will write a detailed script report with constructive notes which the playwright will be offered. Please note, it may take up to three months from submission before a script report is ready. Each play is given approximately 4 hours dedicated time from Tinderbox.
The reader will recommend to the Literary Manager what kind of follow up should be pursued or will ask for a second read to be done by another member of the panel.
We will use our discretion with plays that at a first glance are unsuitable for us due to length, large cast, space or technical requirements that we cannot access. In these cases we will might decline to read the script or chose to read the first 20 pages to decide whether to put the script forward for a full read.
Work in progress
Tinderbox can read works in progress from Northern Irish writers, if it is clearly stated in the covering letter. In this case the material will not be considered for production but the script panel reader will focus on giving dramaturgical feed back on the ideas and work so far with emphasis on suggestions for how to move the work forward.
Finishing a play is a major achievement and something of which to be very proud. However the journey to a potential production is only beginning when a play is submitted to a theatre.
Tinderbox is a small touring company producing 2-3 productions a year. In addition the company has several writers on commission at any one time.
Although it is very rare for a play that has come through the script panel to go directly into production, this should not deter you from writing to Tinderbox. In addition to productions the company provides support to writers in many different ways. If the company knows about you and your work, you can be kept in mind for future activities, pointed in appropriate alternative directions and alerted to other companies and opportunities. The most beneficial thing the company can offer in the short term will be the constructive feedback written by the script panel. Long-term it is important to build relationships with theatres and allow them to develop over a long period of time.