Welcome to Speak as One

A writing project for the whole community


Our Theatre may be closed, but we want to find new ways of talking with you - our wonderful audience. We want to hear what you have to say. We want to start a conversation, even if it has to be one voice at a time. 

Speak as One is your chance to write for your local theatre and get your voice heard. We are inviting members of the public to write their own short audio play for one or two voices. It might be your voice we hear in the play - it might be someone you know - it might be a fictional character. What do they want to say?

We want every story, in any voice. Our reader's panel, including award-winning playwrights, producers, actors and theatre-makers, can't wait to read what you write!

What are we looking for?

We are looking for new short plays - written to be performed by one or two voices (though performed by actors in isolation) - on any subject that is in your mind at this strange moment in time. They should be a maxium of 5-10 minutes in length (reckon on about 1000 words). You should include your name and contact details when you send in your submission, but you may request for the piece to be published anonymously. There are no other restrictions!

The deadline for submissions is 7th June 2020

What will happen to the plays?

We will publish all entries via our website for the community to read. A panel of volunteers (including playwrights, performers, teachers and members of the community) will select the very best entries to be recorded, voiced by professional actors. The results will be released via our website, and as part of our new Speak as One podcast series. The project will also be featured on BBC Radio Oxford. Speak as One will create a collage of voices from our community. 

We will be dividing any submissions into three groups: Age 8-11, Age 12-18, and 18+. 

Readers Panel includes:

Mike Bartlett - Writer of Doctor Foster, King Charless III and numerous radio plays. 

Jo Higgins - Former Chipping Norton Youth Theatre Director

Emily Moseley - PRoducer for Watermill Theatre

plus many other theatre professionals, writers and actors. 

How to get started? 

Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing exclusive masterclasses with experts in writing and performing for the voice. These are free to access and a great way to get started. Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected] at any time or posted to 'Speak As One, Chipping Norton Theatre, 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NL'. We will accept handwritten submissions, word processor documents or pdfs. If you prefer, you may choose to record your submission yourself  - in which case, please send us both the script and the audio file. 

Please complete our permission form and submit alongside your entry. You can find it on the links below. 

Permission Form (Word Document)            Permission Form (PDF Document)

We can't wait to hear from you. 



Video Masterclasses:

We will be presenting a selection of specially commissioned masterclasses from those with experience of writing and performing for audio drama. Please keep checking back for further updates and new videos. 

Masterclass 1 - Acting for a Microphone

Andrew Cullum, star of our recent production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, is also an unbelievably experienced voice actor for radio and audio books. He joins us from his studio to reflect on the process of being an actor when the only thing you have to communicate with is your voice.


Masterclass 2 - An Introduction to Audio Drama

Alan Pollock is a writer for stage, screen and radio. His work includes Attachments for BBC 2, and plays for Hampstead Theatre and The Traverse Theatre. His radio plays include Philip and Sydney, Every Duchess In England and May There Always Be Sunshine. Here he shares some thoughts on how to set about writing work for the audience to just listen to - the challenges and the opportunities.

Masterclass 3 - Using Verbatim Methods to create Audio Drama. 

Verbatim drama uses real, found text (such as interviews or overheard conversations) to create a play. LUNG is a campaign-led verbatim theatre company whose work has been staged at Leeds Playhouse, the National Theatre Studio and Battersea Arts Centre. In this video, the company’s artistic directors Helen and Matt introduce us to the concept of verbatim theatre and how you can use it to create your own unique audio drama.

You can download a resource pack here with further ideas of how to use verbatim drama in your submission: CLICK HERE to open. 

Masterclass 4 - An Actor's Approach to Audio Drama

Helen Monks is an actor and writer whose credits include Upstart Crow, Raised by Wolves and Inside No. 9, as well as the voice of Pip Archer in Radio 4’s The Archers for over ten years. In this video, Helen talks us through what she looks for in an audio script, and offers her tips to writers. 

Masterclass 5 - Writing from Life

Caroline Horton is a writer, director and performer whose work is often drawn from her own life. She reflects on that process, and how you can draw inspiration from what has happened or is happening to you.


Young Writer resources:

Click below to download a writer's pack for those aged 6 - 11 years. 

Word Document     PDF Document

Click below to download an ideas prompt for those aged 12 - 18 years. 

Word Document     PDF Document