Plays Rough began in early 2012 as a forum for Jersey playwrights to stage new work. Based in the Jersey Opera House Studio, it established a format of staging several short plays mixed with original poetry and music in an informal setting.
Some plays would be rehearsed and presented as full performances, others as rehearsed readings. The point was to give writers the chance to see and hear how their plays worked with an audience, and for local actors and directors to try something a bit different.
Plays Rough received a grant from ArtHouse Jersey in 2017 for a writing workshop with renowned English playwright Simon Stephens (writer of such plays as Punk Rock, Heisenberg, and the Olivier award-winning National Theatre adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time).
Simon Stephens paid a flying visit to Jersey and eight local writers, all of whom had previously staged their own work with Plays Rough, learnt from his years of experience how he approached the art of playwriting.
The workshop was in collaboration with the Jersey Festival of Words, and fed into Plays Rough’s contribution to the 2017 Festival. For the opening night of the 2017 Festival, Plays Rough staged an evening of new plays, called Crapaud to Joy, held in the unique location of the Maritime Museum.
Four of the writers who attended the workshop went on to write new pieces for the Festival event. But in the broader scheme of things, hopefully all of the writers who attended this fascinating workshop found inspiration to look at their own writing process in a new way.