The Old Vic 12

The search is on to find the next group of exciting artists to become The Old Vic 12.

The Old Vic 12 is a group of 12 extraordinary developing artists ready to take the next step in their careers. The scheme provides access and insights into top-level theatre-making, mentoring from industry experts, opportunities to deliver masterclasses to emerging artists, and collaborate with each other to create brand new work.

This group of exceptional writers, directors, producers and other theatre artists will be selected through an accessible, nationwide recruitment process. Over a year-long attachment they will be supported to create and develop three brand new plays which, for the first time, will be taken through to full production at leading cultural venue, Shoreditch Town Hall, in a three week repertory season in March 2021.

We want to hear from artists who are passionate about creating outstanding new writing which explores engaging, contemporary subjects in a way that will catalyse, entice and entertain the largest audiences possible. The Old Vic 12 asks; how do we make the popular artistic and the artistic popular? How do we take your voice, amplify it, attract a broad audience to hear it, and in the process help you evolve an ambitious and sustainable career?

By providing a ‘real world’ experience that reflects how work is made at independent producing theatres, alongside delivering a range of artist development opportunities, this project will enable each of The Old Vic 12 to take the next step in their careers.


In the first round of applications we are looking to select three exceptional playwrights who have received at least two professional productions and are looking to increase the reach of their work. Suitable applicants are invited to outline a pitch for a brand new play idea. The successful candidates will then be commissioned to develop a first draft of their idea over a six month period. Recruitment for the rest of The Old Vic 12 cohort and all other creative team members will take place in March 2020 and the project will run over the following year.

During the application period we are hosting a free pitching workshop for playwrights led by Rikki Beadle-Blair (MBE) – book your place. For those who can’t make it we have created a short video guide below to ensure you have the best possible chance of success.

As with each opportunity at The Old Vic, we encourage applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Successful applicants currently based outside of London will be eligible for support with travel and accommodation. We will also work with you to make sure any access needs are met and that you can make the most out of the opportunity.

We will also accept applications in BSL English or video response. If you would like to submit in this way please get in touch via or call the team on 020 7981 0994

Applications have now closed.

‘The Old Vic 12 has helped me to clarify my vision and practice, to articulate my ‘art’’

 ‘Being part of the 12 has given me a group of extraordinarily talented collaborators’

‘I don’t think I’ve ever felt so creatively challenged’


Join Rikki Beadle-Blair (MBE) in this practical session exploring how best to pitch your ideas and your story. Rikki will be drawing from his experience pitching for theatre commissions, television and film – as well as being directly involved in The Old Vic 12 selection process (please note this free session is for playwrights who are interested in applying for The Old Vic 12).

The Old Vic Workrooms, Drummond Road
Sun 15 Sep, 4–7pm

The Old Vic 12 is generously supported for 2019/2021 by:
The Eranda Rothschild Foundation, Claire Bullus, Nathalie & Nicolas Giauque, The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust
and The Old Vic Impact Fund