UJ Arts & Culture launches online Playwriting Lab

UJ Arts & Culture invites aspirant and established playwrights to apply for participation in its online playwriting laboratory.

A division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) at the University of Johannesburg, UJ Arts & Culture is a proponent of new original South African work and the UJ Playwriting Lab is another programme designed to support the development of new creative content. Over the past few years, numerous new works were developed in collaboration, in partnership or in residence at UJ Arts & Culture. Among these, iNDUKU, Dear Mr Government, please may I have a meeting with you, even though I am six years old? and Pink Money to mention a few.


The aim of this six-month programme is for participants to complete the script for a 60-90 minute one-act play. UJ Arts & Culture will select up to four works for staged readings in 2021, where some of the works might be selected for a full-scale production.

“Most of the playwrights I know don’t follow a step-by-step process or ‘recipe’ to write a play. Most of the time it involves a smorgasbord of methods, techniques and tricks. The UJ Playwriting Lab strives to create a learning-by-doing environment through online master classes, forum discussions and ongoing critical feedback over a writing-intensive period,” says Pieter Jacobs. “While writing, generally, is a solitary endeavour we hope that this programme will make the journey a little less lonely,” he adds.

The UJ Playwriting Lab is open to new, emerging and established South African writers. The programme will be presented in English but participants may also write scripts in Setswana, South and North Sotho (Sesotho and Sepedi) and Afrikaans. The programme will be facilitated by Head of UJ Arts & Culture, Pieter Jacobs and playwright Omphile Molusi and award-winning Director, Jade Bowers an independent director and facilitator Tshego Khutsoane will join the programme as writing advisors. Master classes on a range of topics will be presented by writing advisors and other writers including Mike van Graan, Napo Masheane, Ismail Mahomed and Amy Jephta.

Applicants are required to submit one monologue (no more than 400 words) and a dialogue (no more than 600 words). The following online form should be completed and submitted by no later than 18 April 2020:

Apply HERE

To ensure that participants gain meaningful value from the process and that scripts developed are as close to ready for production as possible, a limited number of participants will be selected.

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