Headline Acts

January 2023 – Present

Headline Acts in black text against an orange background

A fun and informal reading series where writers sign up to present short (10-15 minutes) dramatic pieces that respond to recent headlines. Each performance will be "headlined" by a more experienced writer, and the remaining 3 acts selected via open call on a first-come-first served basis


Who can apply?

Anyone with an idea for a 10-15 minute play they’d love to put up on stage.

Must my piece respond to a recent headline?

In the spirit of keeping things current and responsive, yes! But there’s no restriction on what that headline is, and you can be as creative as you want with your take on it. Use the prompt as a provocation, a call to arms, an ironic counter-point– anything goes!

What is a dramatic piece? Can I submit a spoken word piece?

These are pieces that use the building blocks of drama in some shape or form: character, dialogue, narrative, space… Spoken word pieces are certainly welcome, but if you already have access to spoken word spaces, we do ask that you consider if this is the best platform to present that work.

Will Centre 42 hire a director, actors, designers… etc for me? Must actors be off-book?

No. Each participant will be given a token sum of money to cover some costs, e.g. honoraria for collaborators. It’s worth bearing in mind that the spirit of this event is to keep the production light and no frills. What matters is the writing! We welcome script-in-hand performances, though certainly if you’d rather perform off-book that’d be great.

Is there a limit to the number of characters? Can I perform my own work?

There are no limitations as such, and if you can find creative ways to present several voices, that’s amazing. And yes, you can definitely perform your own work.

Can I present older work?

We’d much prefer if you created something specially for the event, but if something you’ve already written happens to be a super electric response to something in the news, we’d be happy to hear it.

When is the first Headline Acts?

January 2023. Look out for our open call closer to the date!