Artscape is delighted to announce a public call for applications for all theatre and performing arts practitioners and story-tellers interested in the staging of new work for our 2020 New Voices season to be staged in October 2020. Scriptwriters and storytellers are hereby invited to submit their full texts for consideration.


  • South African and African content by South Africans/Africans;
  • Only Western Cape-based individuals may submit applications;
  • Only new work that has not yet been performed anywhere, may be submitted;
  • Works may be submitted in English, isi-Xhosa or Afrikaans, or a combination of two or three of the aforementioned;
  • All submitted work may have a minimum of ONE and a maximum of FIVE performers;


A theatrical story of national significance to South Africa/Africa: this is a broad specification, so be guided by what you feel is of relevance to our country/this city;

  • Work that aims to reclaim and restore marginalised aesthetics, content and language in arts and performances;
  • Stories that deal with issues of a social, cultural, heritage, identity, gender or language, reflecting our diverse society;
  • Work that aims to reclaim and restore dignity and confidence to individuals and communities that have been disregarded and under-represented in the past;
  • Work that adds something new and fresh to the theatrical landscape.

The closing date to send in an application is 15th March 2020

Interested applicants may forward their short (no more than one page) resumés and full text to with the subject line: APPLICATION: NEW VOICES 2020.




Q         What do you mean when you say “NEW VOICES”?

A         A “NEW VOICE” is a text written by either an established writer who has written and been published and/or produced before. OR, it could be an aspiring first-time writer who wants to “break into” the industry. What is important is that your “NEW VOICE” will add something original, innovative and fresh to the theatrical landscape.


Q         Will you only accept full, completed texts or may I submit a synopsis?

A         ONLY completed texts will be considered. No extracts and/or synopses and/or proposals will be accepted.


Q         In what format should the text be submitted?

A         It should be a printable “Word” or “PDF” document sent in an e-mail. OR, it may be in hard copy format, delivered to Artscape marked for attention THANDI with the same subject line: “Application: New Voices 2020”.

REMINDER: A completed application will have a one-page resumé with contact details and referees as well as the full text attached.

Q         How long should the text be?

A         The text should ideally be between 25 and 35 pages long…it will become a one-act production that MUST comfortably fit into an hour, in one sitting.


Q         Are there any specific “restrictions” I should be aware of?

A         As mentioned in the call for applications, your submission may only have up to 5 performers, and should be a world premiere. There are no restrictions as to the content, but preference will be given to fresh, new, innovative content that is relevant to the building and restoration of our country. Content should at the very least leave audiences with “food for thought”.  Remember: it is a NEW VOICES programme


Q         What happens to my text once submitted to NEW VOICES?

A         The text will be assigned a registration number, the writer’s name will be removed and the text will then be reviewed – anonymously – by an independent panel of readers, and a shortlist will be made. Only at the shortlist stage will writers’ names be revealed to the readers.



Q         What happens should my text be shortlisted?

A         Once shortlisted, the writer will be invited to a meeting to “pitch” their production and for a panel of experts to “meet” the writer – also to ask the writer a few questions. After that meeting the final selection will be made.

Artscape will assign a director by mid-May and you and your director will be in constant contact between June and October (the production month). A contract will be drawn up between Artscape and yourself explaining all the terms and conditions.


Q         What happens if my text is NOT shortlisted?

A         If your text is not selected you will be informed via e-mail and you may collect the hard copy (if this was the format you submitted) from Artscape, if you so wish.


Q         How many texts will be chosen for the 2020 programme?

A         ONE text will be chosen to be produced for a run (of about 8 performances) in the Arena Theatre in October and THREE texts will be chosen to be showcased as staged readings for two performances each. The latter will be works-in-progress and, depending on the responses to the questionnaires that audiences will fill out at the readings, may or may not be developed to become part of the full production programme for 2021.


Q         Do I pay anything, like an application fee or any monies towards the actual production costs?

A         There is no application fee. It is open to anyone interested in submitting. Artscape will pay for all the production costs, including posters, marketing, cast and crew fees, venue etc.