The Market Theatre is excited to invite writers to submit their unproduced full-length plays to our Play Development Programme. We are looking for fresh and compelling scripts that showcase a unique South African voice.

Up to 60 plays will be selected to receive a Reader’s Report. Based on the strength of the report, some of these plays may be identified for further development or, in exceptional cases, for a full production produced by The Market Theatre.

  • We encourage writers from anywhere in South Africa and of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels to apply.
  • Only full-length plays with an anticipated running time of between 60 to 120 minutes will be considered.
  • The play must not have been produced before.
  • We welcome submissions in any official South African language and encourage you to submit work that reflects the diversity of our country.

All the Reader’s are experienced theatre-makers and/or writers with an excellent understanding of playwriting and the South African theatre landscape. Collectively they are able to assess plays in any official South African language. The 1 to 2 page reports will be carefully considered in relation to the script you submit, and will be written to provide you with detailed and specific constructive input. The Market Theatre’s artistic department will directly engage with scripts that are flagged by a Reader as a fresh, urgent, or compelling story that should be considered for development or production. 

To apply, you will need to complete an application form along with the submission of the following:

  • Your play in PDF format (max. 5MB).
  • A synopsis of the play (max. 500 words). This will guide us on an appropriate reader to send your work to.

Applications should be submitted online by no later than Monday 1 May 2023.

We look forward to reading your work and discovering a new wave of South African plays!