Announcement: New Residency for Writers Avenue @ The Courtyard18th January 2017
“The Courtyard Theatre announces long term partnership with Writers Avenue to establish a new home for diverse theatre in London From May 2017.”
Writers Avenue @ The Courtyard
The Courtyard Theatre's Main House theatre becomes the exclusive home to Writers Avenue to curate, produce and collaborate with diversity-led theatre on a commercial scale.
Writers Avenue is a company founded by Artistic Director, Sandra Thompson-Quartey in 2010. For the past 6 years, she has been devoting its energies into finding and developing emerging playwrights and providing showcase opportunities at theatres such as Soho Theatre and The Pleasance. Writers Avenue has championed writers in their early stages of their career and has performed work by writers such as Chris Urch and Rose Lewenstein, who have gone on to have successful writing careers.
- ‘Writers avenue is a great home for new and emerging writers. I am pleased to hear that they
- now have a place to call home’ - Bola Agbaje - Playwright
Moving forward Writers Avenue will be producing and receiving play proposals across a range of genres with an emphasis on supporting emerging and established writers who represent diverse cultures and communities.
Since finding a new home in Hoxton 9 years ago, The Courtyard Theatre has supported, housed and hosted a multitude new writing and fledgling company seasons and events.
With The Courtyard Theatre already hosting The Kings Cross Award for New Writing every two years and Writers Avenue hosting play development competitions, the timing for both organisations is at a good place to partner in order to achieve their mutual goal of creating a new home for new writing and diverse theatre in London.
The Courtyard Artistic Director, Tim Gill and Sandra Thompson-Quartey have the shared philosophy that all theatre, no matter how diverse, is capable of attracting a commercial audience.
- ‘Writers Avenue at the The Courtyard Theatre is a real contender for the commercial sector and a
- theatre to watch out for.’’ Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway- Artistic Directors of the Future
The Main House Theatre of 150 seats will be programmed exclusively by Writers Avenue, while the 80 seat Studio Theatre space and the 250 capacity live music venue will continue to be programmed by The Courtyard.
This residency officially casts off with the Writers Avenue Festival Season running 1st May - 16th July 2017, all shows from this season performed will be considered for a full production in 2018 and Writers Avenue hope this will be the start of a platform for emerging and existing writers.
‘Sandra Thompson-Quartey and the team are empowering young and new writers and makers to develop and practise their crafts’ - Kobna Holdbook - Smith - Actor
There will be a launch event in spring 2017 at The Courtyard Theatre which will feature extracts from scripts in development as well a few words from Writers Avenue and The Courtyard.
More information on the programme of shows and events will be made available at this event.
If you would like to get in touch for comment or an interview please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07990 511 943 or 020 7729 2202 Editors Notes:
The Courtyard Theatre website:
Writers Avenue website: email:
What people have said about the announcement
Bola Agbaje - Playwright
“Writers avenue is a great home for new and emerging writers. I am pleased to hear that they now have a place to call home. I kick started my career attending a writing scheme for new writers” (Royal Court Theatre).
Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway - runs Artistic Directors of the Future, and was recently listed in The Stage top 100 power list of 2017
"Sandra Thompson-Quartey’s visionary leadership has always centered on people and not projects, which is the reason for her continued success. As she embarks on the running of the main house at The Courtyard Theatre, I
have no doubt that she will inspire a new way of thinking, cultivate ground- breaking collaborations and bring fresh and exciting talent to the theatre scene. Writers Avenue at the The Courtyard Theatre is a real contender for the commercial sector and a theatre to watch out for."
Kobna Holdbook - Smith - Actor
"There is never one pathway to becoming an arts professional. Whether as a writer, director actor or whatever you must make your own way to where you want to be or for what you want to see happen. Sandra Thompson-Quartey and the team are empowering young and new writers and makers to develop and practise their crafts. Luck doesn't matter but at the same time, nothing is 'luckier' than practising. And we're lucky to have Writer's Avenue."
The Companies: WRITERS AVENUE
Writers Avenue theatre company discovers and nurtures new writers. The company was founded by its Artistic Director & Producer, Sandra Thompson-Quartey, in 2010 and has since found, developed and staged new plays by first-time writers and run writing competitions at Soho Theatre in central London and the Pleasance Theatre in North London, providing opportunities for new talent to be showcase their work in front of top industry professionals.
The company seeks out plays that deliver compelling stories with contemporary themes that will entertain as much as they will provoke thought and discussion.
The Courtyard has been operating in London for nearly three decades and has been in its current home in Hoxton since 2007. Prior to that The Courtyard was based in Kings Cross where it was founded in 1989 by June Abbott, (June is also attributed with founding the Finborough Theatre). The Courtyard also ran The Courtyard at Covent Garden for a period of two years from the theatre museum in conjunction with the V & A.
The Courtyard has developed its operations and facilities and is now considered one of the premier development venues for theatre, films and live music in London. In addition to our two theatres, we have clients that use our facilities to develop west end theatre and mainstream television and also to showcase upcoming new music acts. These last few years have seen The Courtyard play host to numerous existing and upcoming acts and performers, including (Bastille, FKA Twiggs, Tobias Jesso Jnr, and Jesse Glynne) - We have worked with the BBC, ITV, Warner Bros, Sony, SFP, Ambassadors on development and rehearsal use and the Theatre has gone from strength to strength with a number of highly successful productions, most recently ‘Acorn’ by Maud Dromgoole.