Call For Applications: New Voices 2023

Artscape is delighted to announce a public call for applications for all theatre and performing arts makers and exciting story-tellers who would be interested in the staging of new work for our 2023 New Voices season to be staged in October 2023.

Scriptwriters and storytellers are invited to submit their full texts with a synopsis where your themes are clearly explained. OR, a minimum of ten pages of a text.


  • 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 the three;
  • All submitted work may only have a maximum of FIVE performers;


  • A theatrical story of national significance to South Africa/Africa: this is a broad spec, 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 nature, 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.
  • Work that adds something new and fresh to the theatrical landscape. 

The closing date for application is Friday 30 June 2023.

Interested applicants may forward their short (no more than one-page) resumé and proposal to Thandi Mlungwana via email: with the subject line: APPLICATION: NEW VOICES 2023.


A completed application will have:

  • a one-page resumé, with contact details and referees
  • The text, inclusive of a synopsis where the themes are clearly spelled out OR
  • An extract of the text (at least 10 pages) with themes clearly spelled out.


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         What exactly may I submit?

A         You may submit ONE of the following:

  • A completed text – PREFERRED;
  • A synopsis of the text (with a minimum ten-page sample of the text, testifying to the quality of the writing) which, if shortlisted, will have to be “pitched” to a panel of judges;

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 at STAGE DOOR at Artscape for the attention of Thandi Mlungwana.

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 comfortably fits into about 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 (FIVE) performers, and should be a world premiere (i.e. it NEVER had an outing in any way, shape or form prior to the submission). 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 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 the panel of readers to “meet” the writer. After that meeting the final selection will be made. Artscape will assign a director by mid-July and you and your director will be in constant contact between July and October (which will be the production month). A contract will be drawn up between Artscape and yourself explaining all the terms and conditions.

Q         What happens if I am NOT shortlisted?

A         If your text is not selected you will be informed via e-mail.

Q         What are time frames from page to stage, and what happens during this time?

A         You are expected to be available to work very closely with the assigned director to develop the text for stage-readiness between July and October.

Q         Do I pay anything, like an application fee or do I pay anything towards production costs?

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

Q         Is there a development aspect to this process?

A         Yes. You will have to be available to work closely with the director for text development, conversations between directors, writers and cast, as well as getting a better understanding of the media and marketing world and the theatre industry as a whole.