HighTide are leaders in developing extraordinary diverse talent. We have a long history of nurturing award winning writers including Vinay Patel and Theresa Ikoko, whose debut plays were produced by HighTide. We are dedicated to seeking out artists and ensuring that they have the tools, opportunities and platform to reach their full potential.

In 2020, it’s even more crucial to us that we recognise and lift up new voices. We want to work with writers who are forward thinking, who are considering how to make art in response to the tumultuous times we’re living in. We asked the question ‘how can we tool artists to be creating work with a civic duty at the heart of it whilst making sure that they are able to look after their own heart, soul and mind?’ Our answer to this is the School of HighTide.

The School of HighTide is open to playwrights who identify as Black, Asian, MENA, Latin and/or all Minority Ethnic heritage. It is a free 3-month workshop programme curated by Director and HighTide Associate Artist Chris Sonnex designed to develop craft and deepen thinking through a series of workshops led by a wide range of leading practitioners.  

The workshop series will offer a safe space to converse, listen and reflect on the significant inequalities in the arts sector, and to implement change and positive response. The school will be an opportunity not only to develop your craft but also how to use your artistic voice to tell stories that reflect the urgent political and social changes that have happened this year.

The School of HighTide will explore topics such as art as activism, character representation & intersectionality, unconscious bias, writing joy, centring communities in your work, accessibility, form & structure as well topics surrounding artist wellbeing, how to earn a living from creating and more.

We have lined up a series of dynamic practitioners who are leading the way in their specific practise. Session leaders will include:

  • Juliet Gilkes-Romero (Writer: The Whip, RSC)
  • Sonia Jalaly (HighTide Commissioned Writer, BBC Comedy Writers Room)
  • Milli Bhatia (Director: seven methods of killing kylie jenner – Olivier nominated)
  • Dominic Garfield (High Rise Theatre Collective)
  • Temi Wilkey (Writer: The Stage Debut Award Best Writer, The High Table)
  • Debbie Hannan (incoming co-Artistic Director Traverse Theatre)
  • Myah Jeffers (Royal Court Literary Associate)
  • Eve Leigh (Writer: Midnight Movie, Royal Court)
  • Ned Glasier (Artistic Director, Company Three)
  • Rachel Nwokoro (Multidisciplinary Artist, Black British Theatre Awards Disability Champion)

and more to be announced…

Who is it for?

We acknowledge the barriers and structures that disproportionately impact artists from underrepresented backgrounds accessing opportunities and being able to sustain a career in the arts. We are committed to ensuring that these voices are not lost from our industry.

The School of HighTide is open to playwrights who identify as Black, Asian, MENA, Latin and/or all Minority Ethnic heritage. These writers will join our HighTide’s Supported Writers who HighTide have been mentoring throughout the pandemic.

This programme is not aimed at artists who have never created work before. However, we do not have a set criteria on how much work you must have previously created, acknowledging the barriers that may have prevented work being staged or created. This programme is designed to engage writers who are motivated and committed to furthering themselves as artists and are willing to attend sessions with an open mind and a willingness to explore.

If you identify as Black, Asian, MENA, Latin and/or another Minority Ethnic group, are committed to playwriting and want to strengthen your practise – we want to hear from you!

How will it work?

Sessions will run weekly from January – April  2021 with an introductory session in December  2020. The sessions will be approximately one hour in length and will take place on Monday evenings.

Sessions will take place via Zoom and we expect participants to attend all sessions to get the most out of the programme.

Each session will cover a new topic so there won’t be a need to prepare each week. We recommend participants join the sessions from a laptop although a tablet or phone will work if this is not possible.

HighTide may be able to provide limited support regarding the accessing of equipment, please state if you require this in the sign up form.

How do I sign up?

If you would like to take part and fit the outlined criteria, please fill in this expression of interest form here. All interested participants will be invited to take part in a taster workshop. To ensure the workshops are as engaging as possible, there is a limited capacity for the full workshop programme. Therefore participants will be selected for the School of HighTide after the taster workshop.

Participants who are not selected for the full School of HighTide programme will be offered a follow up workshop session with the HighTide team and added to our Playwright’s Network.

Taster session:

The Taster session will be led by HighTide Artists in December 2020. The session will look at writing craft with the chance for participants to share insight in to their ideas and perspectives as an artist. More information regarding this session will be shared to those who fill out the expression of interest form.

DEADLINE: Deadline to sign up is 5pm on 6th December with an intended programme start date of 11th January 2020.