Pentabus are the nation’s rural theatre company. They were founded in 1974 to provide touring theatre for the five counties of the West Midlands: ‘pent’ meaning ‘five’ and ‘bus’ meaning, er, ‘touring in a bus’; and so the company was called Pent-a-bus.

Today they tour new plays not just across the Midlands but all over the country.

Pentabus are now starting to plan the 6th iteration of their Pentabus Young Company Writers’ Group. This year, they will be running sessions in Hereford, hosted by Hereford College of the Arts and in Shrewsbury hosted by Theatre Severn.

Participants will learn about the basic rules of playwriting and creating work for the stage, tutored by professional playwrights, actors, directors and designers. The 9 month programme is FREE and ends with the professional production of the Young Company Writers’ work in summer 2019.

The sessions are open to anyone who has an interest in creative writing, storytelling, film making, and writing for performance or theatre, regardless of their curriculum study choices. There’s no need to have any writing experience to join, just a keen interest in storytelling and a need to talk about how we live. Joining this group is for the purpose of developing new skills and confidence, honing talents and being given a platform to have work professionally produced.

There will be two groups running in parallel, one on a Wednesday evening at Hereford College of Arts and one on a Thursday evening at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury. Each group will have 10 sessions in total, one a month starting in October (Full dates are listed below)

Their will be two taster sessions, one at each venue. These sessions will give potential participants an idea of what the course will entail. The first taster session will be here at HCA on the 3 October and the second at Theatre Severn on 4 October sessions on 10/11 October.

Pentabus Young Company Tutor, Sophie Ellerby (who is a professional playwright and Pentabus Theatres’ Writer in Residence), Artistic Director Sophie Motley and Audiences and Engagement Manager Andrew Sterry will lead the sessions. The sessions will be supported by designers, actors and composers connected to the company. Two sessions will be led with professional actors who will read the students work in progress.

Sessions 1 – 4 will explore the principles of writing for the stage. How to create tension, how to construct characters, how to take your writing on a journey, towards an action. How to begin and end a play.

Sessions 5 – 9 will be about the creative tools for production. How best to incorporate design, sound, lighting, music and stage directions. Participants will decide what they would like to write about. They will work through draft stages and examine their text with professional actors and performers.

In June / July 2019, Pentabus will professionally produce the participants’ work in a professional theatre.

Participants might eventually write a song, a short play, a musical journey or a solo performance piece. The form and content are up to them.

Read more about our Young Writers programme.

Hereford College of Art. 5.30pm-7.30pm

Session 1/Taster session               Wed 3 October

Session 2                                              Wed 24 October

Session 3                                              Wed 14 November

Session 4                                             Wed 5 December

Session 5                                              Wed 16 January

Session 6                                              Wed 6 February

Session 7                                              Wed 6 March

Session 8                                             Wed 10 April

Session 9                                              Wed 15 May

Session 10: Additional Full Group Session at Pentabus. Date and time TBC.