Welcome to WriteForTheStage
If you want to learn how to write a play for the stage, you've come to the right place.
Go from Page to Stage in 10 weeks. After the course, your work is included in an industry-recognised showcase, so that your work gets seen.
A progressive approach to developing the fundamental skills required to effectively tell a story on the stage, taught by award-winning published playwright, Mike Heath.
Development Week 14
Development Week: where new things happen.
Development Week happens twice a year. It's where we share work in development from the WriteForTheStage courses and from local artists.
It's happening soon:
Mon 2nd - Sat 7th March 2020
Our online learning platform is tried and tested. We've been offering successful online learning solutions for over four years.
We use Zoom to create a completely interactive environment that feels like the whole group is in the same room together.
Convenient. Simple. Accessible.
Our Courses & Programs
Our Playwriting Courses
“It was a very supportive atmosphere with some great writing methods at the core of every lesson. It has been a really good experience.”
— Malachy O'Neil
“Well explained and well presented, step-by-step guide to developing characters and a script. Very encouraging and knowledgeable tutor.”
— Dr. Jane Tonge
He set up his theatre company, Devilish Accord , to produce his debut play, Citadel, (developed through WFTS) in 2018.
David talks about learning online and how our playwriting courses have helped with his development.
Meet the Team
Here to Help You Grow
Mike Heath, MA, PGCE
Mike Heath has been writing, directing and producing stage plays and short films since 2003. He is co-artistic director of Mediamedea, a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award-winning company, originally set up by multi-award-winning playwright, Cathy Crabb. Mediamedea are responsible for a long list of critically-acclaimed works, such as Plus One...?, HotShot, Moving Pictures, The Bubbler, Eighteen and Beautiful House.
Mike has written 18 stageplays, performed around the UK and as far afield as Western Australia. His work has been performed extensively around the North West of England, appearing at various venues including The Library Theatre, The Lowry, Studio Salford, Oldham Coliseum, Liverpool Lantern, Barons Court Theatre, and at Buxton Fringe and 24:7 Theatre Festivals. His work has also been translated into Welsh.
Mike is a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has over 20 years of teaching experience. He has been running playwriting courses through WriteForTheStage for seven years, and teaches the Writing For Performance module at Salford University. He has a Distinction MA in Creative Writing: Playwriting from Salford University, in conjunction with The Royal Exchange, Bolton Octagon, and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
Mike's play, The Big Things was shortlisted for the BBC Alfred Bradley Bursary Award, shortlisted for the Bush Green award, and received its debut run at Barons Court Theatre, London, in April / May 2018 to great critical acclaim.
Currently three of Mike's plays and an anthology (Plays: One) are available in paperback and Kindle. Check out WFTS Books.
Jayne Marshall, MA, C&G 3707
Jayne is an experienced playwright and introduced the Studio Salford WriteForTheStage courses to Glossop in October 2014.
Jayne was inspired to write plays after seeing 'On the Shore of the Wide World' (Simon Stephens: 2005). In 2010, Jayne co-founded New Attitude Theatre Company which has produced her work including 'Safe Hands' (nominated for NWP Best Original Play and long-listed for the Adrienne Benham Award; 2011), 'Onions Cry Too' (The Lowry Studio) and 'Fly By Night' (Kings Arms, Salford). Recognised as an emerging North West playwright, Jayne was one of four writers chosen to develop and showcase an extract of her new play, 'Afterlife', at the 2010 RE:Play First Draft event. Jayne's latest play 'The Lives and Loves of Vera Dymond' has recently delighted audiences and divided critics at the 24:7 Theatre Festival 2014.
Jayne is a qualified trainer (C&G 7307 and CIPD Associate) with over 14 years of teaching experience and has taught creative writing with the Workers Education Authority. She has a distinction MA in Playwriting from Salford University in conjunction with The Royal Exchange, Bolton Octagon and Liverpool Everyman.
Richard Douglas, Events & Training Manager
The WriteForTheStage courses were my very first experience of writing for theatre. Previously my creative writing was limited to blogging and a few failed attempts at putting together short stories and poems.
The playwriting courses taught me how to structure my writing for best effect and how to really develop robust and believable characters. Once established the characters practically wrote their own lines and the story came to life.
The tutoring style was relaxed, supportive and really allowed for creativity to flow in an environment which nurtured new ideas without ever making me feel that my ideas were wrong or silly. Particularly useful when writing such a far-fetched comedy!
Without the WriteForTheStage courses Barbara the Zoo Keeper would never have made it.
Naomi Sumner, Playwright
I signed up to do the WriteForTheStage Advanced course because I wanted to write a longer piece of theatre and one of the aims of the course was to write a 60 minute play. Up to then I had only written “shorts” of up to fifteen minutes in length but had some success with these pieces winning several local competitions and having work performed at Oldham Coliseum’s First Break Festival 2013 and Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in June 2013.
In the first few weeks of the course, Mike did a lot of exercises to generate ideas and encourage us to get something down on the page without censoring myself. To begin with I really did struggle not to cross things out as I wrote! We also did a lot of work around structure and “total narrative” and I think this work really paid off when it came to the feedback I received from the 24:7 Theatre festival in Manchester, where they praised the play for having a clear, strong narrative.
Yes, with Mike’s help not only did I achieve my first goal of writing a 60 minute play but I also realised my ambition of my play being chosen for the Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival.
I was absolutely delighted to be chosen as one of the ten writers for the 2014 festival and don’t think I would have made the final cut without Mike’s help. Mike was so supportive and generous with his time, giving individual feedback via one to ones outside the weekly classes and writing detailed notes on numerous drafts. It was fantastic (and a bit scary) to have our work read by professional actors and hear their feedback, plus get the audience’s perspective at Development week.
By doing the course I feel I have become a more skilled and confident playwright!