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Emerging Artists

In this Section:
Oldham Coliseum Theatre Studio Artist Development Programme
Studio Season
Workshops and Masterclasses
Script Submission Windows
Spare Room
Secondary Partnership Scheme: Emerging Playwrights opportunity
Talk To Us

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Oldham Coliseum Theatre Studio Artist Development Programme 

Oldham Coliseum Theatre Studio is an intimate 50 seat space that’s available to artists at different stages of their careers. We want to support artists’ work and development and to build mutually beneficial working relationships.  The Coliseum is an active member of the Greater Manchester Producing Theatre Group, which delivers a coordinated and complementary programme of work across the city-region.  The producing theatres work to nurture and support artists and practitioners based in the North, maintaining a critical mass of talent that has established the city-region as a potent alternative of theatre production outside of London.



Studio Season

The Studio season runs February – June and September – October.  We don’t offer the Studio for hires as our programme is a curated one in line with our overall artistic programming.  We place a particular emphasis on programming companies from across the UK; work with contemporary themes and work that explore issues that impact on our local area. We also bring work to Greater Manchester that’s received critical and audience acclaim at festivals such as the Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.




Cultivate is an annual week-long festival produced by the Coliseum focused on theatre upskilling; an unmissable opportunity for anyone wanting to get into the any of the many areas of theatre. Click here to learn more about Cultivate



New Writing

Our writers’ group Scribbles – led by Aimee George – runs every other Wednesday during term times. Our sponsorship continues of Manchester ADP supporting actors, writers and directors.



Workshops and Masterclasses

Workshops and masterclasses are key to developing the theatre maker; we’ll be announcing our programme for 2019 very soon where you’ll get to work with visiting artists and companies.



Script Submission Windows

We love to discover new writers and work, particularly those exploring stories and themes that represent the community of Oldham.
We have two Script Submission Windows a year: July and January. We will acknowledge receipt of all scripts and notify writers if we would like to discuss taking their piece further or whether it is not for us.



Spare Room

Although our Studio is at a premium – our space also doubles as our rehearsal room – we offer the space, when available, to artists and companies for R&D and rehearsal at no cost.  This is on a first come, first served basis (just remember to switch the lights off!) and, occasionally, subject to organisational capacity, we can offer those companies who’ve been part of Spare Room the opportunity of a rehearsed reading so their work is performed in front of a supportive audience.



Secondary Partnership Scheme: Emerging Playwrights opportunity

Early-career writers have the opportunity to get involved in the Secondary Partnership Scheme. The Secondary Partnership Scheme engages many secondary schools across Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale and Manchester. We are looking for four emerging writers; aged 18-30 years to create a 15 minute play in response to a main stage show which will be performed by young people aged 11 to 16.

The fee is £200 for each playwright.

The writers will also benefit from:

  • A half day introductory workshop with playwright, Rob Johnston, that will focus on the process of writing for young people and developing works for large casts.
  • Dramaturgical support from the Coliseum, this includes supporting you to structure your piece, write dialogue and build pace in a scene. We will mentor you through the development of your work.
  • Your play will be performed by three school groups on the main stage at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre.
  • Networking opportunities with other writers and industry contacts.

You will need to be available for workshops in July or August.

To apply, please email two examples of your work (up to five pages for each example), a 500 word statement of interest and your CV with contact details. Please send your applications with the subject line ‘Secondary Partnership Scheme Writing’ to

The closing date for receipt of entries is: Monday 26 June.



Talk To Us

If you’d like to invite someone from Oldham Coliseum Theatre to come and see your work, please drop us a line.  Before inviting us, please consider whether your work is in line with what we programme in our Studio and our artistic policy.  Please note, although we can support rehearsed readings and can sometimes offer support in kind, we seldom produce plays in our studio.  Let us know what you’re doing and where and we’ll do our best to come along.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre is proud to be part of Venues North, please download the Routes In Guide to help you make a successful approach to venues to present your work in their studio.  This guide will help you make an approach to us.

Working alongside other Greater Manchester Theatres, we have also produced a guide to share what we – as a group of theatre buildings – can do to support, sustain and nurture the sector.  Click here to learn more about Open Doors: The Greater Manchester Theatre’s Guide for Artists.


Chris Lawson, Artistic Director  



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