selecting shows

Every year we're invited to visit colleges, universities and theatre spaces by students, emerging companies and individual artists.

The criteria for selection is simple:

We're looking for the best work by people aged 16-25 in the country.

We're open to whatever form it takes. We've presented everything from a 15 minute solo piece about racist violence in America, to an immersive retelling of the Nutcracker set in an 11 room house. We've had classic plays by Shakespeare and Euripides and modern plays by Steven Berkoff, Jez Butterworth and Lucy Prebble. We've had modern musicals like Spring Awakening and Rent, classic musicals like Kiss Me Kate and Into the Woods, and new musicals, like Americana and Departures. We've had new plays  - 10 of the productions chosen for NSDF 17 were new writing. And we've had performances that blur boundaries, tear down form and make us question what theatre is. So if you've made some work that you think is great, whatever the form and whatever the content, we're interested.

There's more info on how to enter your show below, or you can watch the following video. 

How to enter

It's a really simple process to enter your production for NSDF. There's an online form here. You'll need to login to or create an account and then enter the details of your show. Once you've completed the form and paid, we'll find one of our selection team - a group of professional artists working in the industry - to come and see the work on one of the dates you've given us. They'll watch the show and talk to the cast and team after the show for up to an hour. They will offer feedback and ask questions about the work and the process.

On January 28th we'll all meet to discuss all the work we've seen and then select a number of the productions to come to the Festival. If your show isn't selected, we might recognise people that we were particularly impressed by,  and invite them to join the Festival Company, which entitles them to a reduced price ticket to the Festival and access to exclusive workshops there. 

There is an entry fee of £98. We subsidise the cost of a selection (which averages at £300) and your contribution goes towards our costs of paying our selector, covering travel, subsistence and food. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Lizzie Melbourne, our administrator, on 020 7036 9028 or at [email protected]

Theatre 42's Nothing is Coming, The Pixels are Huge at NSDF 17.