What is NSDF?
NSDF is an annual week-long theatre festival for young people. For one week in Leicester, the best theatre created by 16-25 year olds from all over the UK is presented to an audience of other young people, professionals and public. Alongside this NSDF runs around 100 workshops led by some of the most talented professionals in the industry. There are discussions, debates and masterclasses.
NSDF 21 will take place from 27th March - 4th April 2021.
I'm not a student - can I still take part?
Yes! NSDF is for anyone aged 16-25 years old whether you are in education or not.
I'm a mature student - can I still take part?
Yes! If you are older than 25 and a mature student (in part or full time education), then you can get involved too.
I'm a teacher - how do I bring a group to the festival?
School groups are an important part of the NSDF community. For more information check out our Bringing a School Group page.
what happens at NSDF?
NSDF is a week-long Festival hosted in Leicester. We welcome hundreds of young people, established artists and local audiences.
We present a number of productions (typically 10-12 shows) from the 100 plus shows we have seen through the year leading up to Selection Day.
We also programme performance, technical and producing workshops. These workshops are led by visiting artists who are all industry professionals. We publish the programme on our website a week before the Festival, with a two day browsing period, before the booking system goes live.
We run a magazine called Noises Off that publishes a hard copy every day and has rolling new online.
There's a daily discussion where we talk about all the productions you've seen and host panel discussions and forums on wider cultural, social and political issues.
Late night events include a Disco, The Big Quiz, Kabaret and Open Mic. The bar and cafe stay open until late. In the bar and cafe you'll be able to meet and mingle with other participants and visiting artists in a relaxed, friendly and inclusive environment.
can I enter a show for the Festival?
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we cannot - as we have for decades - come to you and see your show in person.
However we still want to hear from you. We want you to contact us with ideas for work you would like to present at the Festival and we will find a way to discuss the idea and see if it will work for NSDF 21.
And because of the pressures of the pandemic this year it will be completely free to enter your work this way.
what are the costs?
This year it will be completely free to enter a show.
NSDF 21 will exist on a Pay What You Decide basis, to make sure we make it as accessible as possible.
can you recommend places to stay during the week?
Please see our Festival Accommodation recommendations page.