About HighTide

HighTide's aim is to produce new theatre works by artists who are yet to receive their first commission. HighTide produces well-resourced debut productions with substantial research and development periods, which benefit from development with HighTide associates and audience feedback. HighTide’s artists are new, adventurous and diverse in terms of ethnicity, political philosophy and socio-economic backgrounds.


We are pleased to announce we are partnering with HighTide to deliver the First Commissions Scheme 2018-19.

We are looking for a talented writer of colour who is yet to receive their first commission to undergo an 18 month attachment as a First Commissions writer. This programme will support one writer in securing Arts Council funding to receive a full commission fee to write and develop a brand new play. HighTide and Tamasha will provide key mentoring, advice and contacts to the First Commissions writer over the 18 month attachment.  What we are looking for is simple. We'd like to hear from writers of colour from across England with a great idea for a new play. As well as mentoring and providing feedback on the play in development, over the 18 months we will provide the First Commissions writer support with:

  • Arts Council Project Grants Application 

Under the close guidance of HighTide and Tamasha, you will write an Arts Council England application for a writer’s commission fee based on the Independent Theatre Council rate for a full play. This fee will then fund your time to write and develop your play.   

  • Connecting with a Director and other key industry figures

Both organisations will advise on talented directors, dramaturgs or artists to work alongside you to develop your play over the 18 month period. Both HighTide and Tamasha have an excellent track record of touring and presenting work in some of the country’s most exciting theatres and cultural organisations. From our network of connections with theatre venues and companies, we will be able to connect you to relevant prospective partners.   

  • Facilitating workshops and readings

During the scheme, your play will receive a reading as part of HighTide Festival 2019 as well as workshop development time and a reading at another theatre venue or organisation. We will support you in the delivery of these readings and workshops. 

Download the First Commissions application pack here >

Applications close at midday on 14th June 2018


How To Apply

Please complete this application form and email to literary@hightide.org.uk with the email subject following the template: [YOUR NAME] HIGHTIDE/ TAMASHA FIRST COMMISSIONS APPLICATION. Please also include a 10 page example of your writing and an up to date CV. This 10 page writing example does not have to be related to your First Commissions idea

Applications close at midday on 14th June 2018. We will be in touch after the closing date. Shortlisted writers will be invited to interview in Central London w/c 2nd July 2018.