Beta testing new WriteForTheStage website (& a brief review of first night of Development Week 13)

Beta-Testing new WFTS website
Beta-Testing new WFTS website

It hardly seems like any time at all has passed since we upgraded the WriteForTheStage website from its first incarnation. But things move fast on the net and, sooner or later, your old website starts to look like last season’s TKMaxx rejects.

We’ve been working on an upgrade that we hope will improve loading times, navigation, and usefulness. It’s not finished yet, but we’re in the process of beta testing it.

We‘d love to know what you think about it.

If you click on the image at the top of this blog post, you’ll get hurled through cyberspace to the new, temporary site.

We haven’t moved the blog over yet (that’s gonna take some effort!), so the blog on the new site is just a template example, but it gives you a sense of the usability.


We’ve just started Development Week 13, so feedback is at the forefront of our minds right now. So we’d like to extend the feedback request to find out what you think of the Beta site.

We’d be interested if you feel it projects a good image of WFTS, and whether it’s easy to navigate.

We’d also like to know if there are any features that you feel would be useful that aren’t there yet.

If there’s anything new that you‘d like to see, please let us know. We’d really appreciate the feedback.

Let us know what you think by using the “Contact” form on the beta website. Thank you!

Development Week

Development Week kicked off to a lovely start last night. We had a full house for our opening piece from Stockport-based playwright, Bronte Appleby (@BronteAppleby)

Her piece, Cock of the Walk, was an entertaining, 40-minute comedy exploring the reality behind the Twitter troll.

Protagonist, Abby, (masterfully performed by Hannah Collins) moves to England after growing up abroad, and discovers her arch nemesis, Piers Morgan. Shocked by his shameless public behaviour, she sets out on a Twitter campaign to troll him to the death.

Not everything goes to plan, however - and she discovers a few home truths when she eventually comes fast to face with the man behind the mask.

Cock of the Walk has been developed through scratch nights in Sale and around Manchester as 15-minute excerpts, and this was the first chance to see the piece in its full incarnation.

There was lots of laughter from the audience as they were taken on a journey of self-discovery that spanned seven years of the protagonists life.

The audience wrote lots of feedback for Bronte, which she’s going to take away and digest; getting the piece ready for its debut.

I, for one, can’t wait to see this piece as a debut production. It’s a funny exploration of a very topical issue that leaves you looking at your own social media life.


That’s what Development Week is all about: participation in the creative process.

I’ve always said that the audience is NOT a passive player in the theatrical construct - they should be actively involved in the drama unfolding in front of them. They should be engaged in the conflict and the characters’ pursuit of objective, actively gathering together the ties of the plot, and surprised when characters make unpredicted decisions.

We’re most engaged by theatre when we, as audience, have the opportunity to think - not be fed with endless information that, eventually, just goes in one ear and comes out of the other.

Get involved

So we like to encourage our audiences at Development Week to get involved: to tell the writers whether they were engaged, what they were engaged with, what they understood, what they liked, and what they didn’t. Because a development reading is the writer’s opportunity to change the piece before it goes in front of an audience in full production.

And we encourage our audiences to be honest.

Every writer likes to hear that the audience loved it - but, at the development stage, that’s not actually very helpful.

At a development reading, audience should tell the writer what they didn’t like; the elements of the script that didn’t satisfy them. Because the writer can address those elements in the next draft.

Of course, we encourage positive feedback as well. We’re not feeding writers to the wolves, here!

It’s so important for any writer to get feedback about their work during the development stage of the process. And that’s why Development Week’s feedback structure is so useful.

Coming up next

Tonight (Tuesday) we have No Hiding Place, by David Chriscole, and The Lighthouse, by Johnny Temple.

Both David and Johnny have developed their pieces through the WriteForTheStage courses (Intro, Advanced, and Progressing) and have worked really hard to get their words to spring off the page.

We had a full house last night, so do book in advance to ensure you get in. We’ll always try and squeeze people in if we can, but the main way of guaranteeing a seat is by pre-booking.

Use the booking form below to check out the rest of the week’s entertainment and get booking.

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