WriteForTheStage Progressing: What It's All About

We have a range of courses at WriteForTheStage, and the Progressing course is designed for people who already have a significant starting point.

You might have the first ten pages of a script or you might have written the whole script and want to develop it in the company of other writers. Progressing is about sharing, discussing, and developing existing work.

The next term launches

We're launching the next term of the Progressing course to coincide with the launch of the 2020 Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.

Usually, the GMFringe application window begins on December 1st for the following year. But because it was so popular last year, the application window is launching on 1st November this year.

You can apply to be a part of the fringe up until April, but early applications get the best slots at the best venues, so it's worth getting your application in early.

And if you're looking to develop your script for next year's fringe festival, WFTS Progressing is the perfect opportunity. You'll even get a Development Week reading in as part of the development of the piece; readying your script to leap off the page and onto the stage in July 2020.

Tuesdays, 6-8pm

The majority of each Tuesday night Progressing session is spent reading work.

We read short excerpts of everyone's work each week. It's a great way to hear your words, read by fellow writers, and to work through a scene-by-scene scrutiny of your existing piece.

We discuss what we've read and share our personal insights into the words on the page. And it's all in a supportive environment; all in the spirit of sharing.

Character Studies

We begin each session with a writing exercise. It's usually a character study that delves into new facets of realism, creating a broader concept of who our characters really are.

We might pose a question and answer it on the page, or we might write a monologue, using a specific sentence as the opening line. Sometimes we explore writing devices but we usually reserve those for the Intro and Advanced courses.

The Progressing course is all about developing our understanding of the piece that we're creating.

Development Week

The Progressing course has been a great source of new work at Development Week. Around 75% of the work shared during the most recent Development Week was work developed through Progressing. And many of those pieces originated in the Intro course and developed further through Advanced.

What's most gratifying to me, personally, is that I get to see the piece grow and expand as a result of Development Week readings and Progressing course meetings; becoming accomplished pieces of writing, ready for performance.

Greater Manchester Fringe Festival

There are at least four new theatre pieces planned for next year's Greater Manchester Fringe Festival - all developed through Progressing.

Progressing is for everyone

You don't have to have completed any of the other WriteForTheStage courses to get involved in Progressing. You just need a piece that you've been developing and want to share with other writers.

Everyone who develops their work through Progressing gets a longer slot at Development Week - usually confined to 50mins. The longer Progressing pieces are generally more ready to sustain audience interest for longer periods, so we introduced longer slots at the most recent Development Week, and it really worked.

More Rounded Pieces

We found that audiences were more deeply engaged and invested in the Progressing pieces this time round. The writers had benefitted from the weekly sharing during the online Progressing sessions, and the regular feedback from the other participants had helped them create a text that was more universally digestible.

The Next Stage

Many participants have done the Progressing course multiple times. We run it in 10-week terms, but many people come back each term to continue with the development of their play; getting it ready for performance or to send off to competitions and script windows. And because the focus is on the work, the course grows with the piece.

And the writing exercises help to make character arcs more realistic and believable.

The Next Term

All of the WriteForTheStage courses are now delivered via our online learning environment. This gives us real flexibility, meaning that people from all around the country can join us. In fact, we've had people from all over the world join us for our weekly Progressing courses.

The next term starts in November. It's a 10-week course that will lead you towards and prepare you for the next Development Week readings.

Interested? Get in touch.

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