HYSTERIA Application Pack

A pdf of the application pack is available here

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Note for the reader:

We have provided as much information as possible so that you can have the best chance at providing a successful application. If this format is not suitable to you, please get in touch. We can offer digital and physical packs in different styles and can arrange a time to go over the information via Zoom, or a phone call. 



The HYSTERIA R&D will be held at Lyth Arts Centre [link to website], Wick, from Monday 12th September 2022 to Friday 16th September 2022. 

During the R&D, performers will spend 5 days in the space under director, Keira Smith, exploring the themes of HYSTERIA and contemporary gender inequality in medicine. These explorations will take the form of play and improvisations, creating short scenes and imagery in response to the creative work. 

The playwright will spend 2 days in the space to witness the live stimuli being produced by the performers and will use these stimuli along with a resource pack of thematic research to write a full-length play script. 

The Team

Laura Walker | Creative Producer

Laura is an emerging Highland-based director/producer. She is undertaking an MRes in Creative Practice, and holds a First Class BA(Hons) in Drama and Performance. 

Keira Smith | Creative Director

Keira is an emerging Highland-based writer/director. She has directed with Dogstar Theatre on their recent Arctic Winds project and has created work through HIYA’s Creative in Your Community. 

Sophie Wink | Artist Liaison

Sophie is an emerging Highland-based writer who manages the artist experience with Vivid Roots. She has mental health and workplace first aid training, and is undertaking a course in equalities, diversity and inclusion. 

Matthew Zajac | Creative Mentor

Matthew is the Artistic Director of Dogstar Theatre. He has a long and successful career producing, writing, directing, and performing a number of productions which have toured nationally and internationally. Matthew will be providing creative mentorship to Keira as director and to the commissioned playwright. 

What You’re Applying For

These roles are for emerging women-identifying and non-binary artists. We have a preference for Highland-based artists, but applications will be accepted from across Scotland.

Playwright | One commission available

We are offering a £9,312 commission for a full-length playscript. This will be broken down into four instalments.

Your final draft will be due on the 31st March 2023. The deadline for your first draft will be determined following a successful application and interview and will be included in your letter of agreement. 

Full terms and conditions will be provided in your letter of agreement, which will be delivered to you if you are successful in your application and interview.

You will be expected to attend 2 days at Lyth Arts Centre so that you can see the improvisations and play unfolding live and in-person. These live stimuli will be an important influence on the development of the playscript. You will be paid a fee of £66.65 per day to attend the R&D. Accommodation is provided on-site, your travel will be reimbursed or provided, and you will receive food costs at £28.50 per diem. 

We will host a rehearsed reading during your redrafting process so that you can receive audience feedback. As part of this rehearsed reading, you will have a full day with Matthew Zajac to work on the development of the play script.

Performers | Three contracts available

You will receive £500 plus holiday pay to attend a 5 day R&D at Lyth Arts Centre. Accommodation is provided on-site, your travel will be reimbursed or provided, and you will receive food costs at £28.50 per diem.

During the R&D, you will be lead through exercises in play and improvisation by your director to produce scenes and imagery that will be used as stimuli for the playwright. Creativity and collaboration are at the root of this process as you will be working together with the other performers and the director to explore the themes. There will be no public showcase of the work at this stage; the sole purpose of the R&D is to provide live stimuli for the playwright. 

Application Process & Support

We accept written, video, and audio applications. You can submit these online using the form signposted at the end of this pack, or you can send them to us in the post.

We will be offering feedback for all applications, auditions and interviews. 

04.07.22Applications open
06.07.22Zoom workshop: writing samples
13.07.22Video: ‘how-to’ for video applications
20.07.22Zoom workshop: application Q&A
27.07.22Zoom workshop: copyright Q&A
03 – 05.08.22Social media takeover: FAQs
10.08.22Video: encouragement
12.08.22Applications closed
w/c 22.08.22Playwright interviews online
Performer auditions in Inverness
(travel and accommodation provided)
29.08.22Letters of agreement distributed
Access funding

For this R&D, we have a £2000 access fund to facilitate the support needs of the playwright and performers. If you have any support needs (e.g. BSL interpretation, childcare, an extra day to visit the space, specific travel requirements, etc.) we look to fulfil this to the best of our ability. 

If you have any questions about our access funding, please get in touch. 

What We’re Looking For

We believe in being as transparent as possible during our application process. Here, we have outlined the kind of skills and qualities that we will be looking for when we are making decisions. 

Key Terms

Emerging artists

Our company aims are to create opportunities for local emerging artists. We believe that ‘emergence’ is a matter of identity. 

If you have many years’ experience in the creative industries but are new to writing or performing, we will accept your application. 

We also understand that those with access needs (e.g. disabilities and caring responsibilities) may have to spend longer establishing themselves due to a lack of opportunities that suit their needs; your first paid opportunity might have been many years ago but if you still feel that you are still emerging, we will accept your application.

We will accept applications from emerging artists even if you haven’t trained at university or if you are still to achieve your first paid opportunity. 

All we would like to know is how you identify as an emerging artist and we would like you to evidence your passion and drive to be part of the industry. 

Highland-based artists 

Our Highland-focus is in acknowledgement of both the specific challenges for Highland-based artists in accessing opportunities, and the lack of paid Highland-based opportunities.

At Vivid Roots Collective, we use the term ‘Highlands’ in reference to the geographical area, not the council district. If you are a resident of the Highlands, you will be guaranteed an interview or audition. 

We do accept applications from outwith the Highlands. 

We do not accept applications from outwith Scotland.


  • A high quality writing sample that showcases an understanding of the audience/performer relationship which is specific to play scripts, and the playwright’s style.
  • An application that demonstrates passion for the industry but specifically for playwriting, and evidences the playwright’s prior engagement with the arts (this can be through education, arts groups, previous work, or organisations).
  • In an interview, we will be assessing the playwright’s level of interest in the themes; their level of interest in writing from live stimuli; and their attitude towards mentorship, feedback and development. 


  • An application that demonstrates a strong engagement with their practice and an understanding of the skills involved in creative and collaborative work. 
  • A creative CV that evidences the performer’s prior engagement with the arts (this can be through education, arts groups, previous work, or organisations) and relevant skills and qualities.
  • At the audition, we will be assessing the performer’s ability to collaborate, generate creative material, and work under direction. How to Apply

We will accept written, video and audio applications either using the online form signposted below, or via the post. 

How to Apply

Online Applications 

  • Playwrights only: We will be hosting a Zoom session on writing samples.
  • Performers only: If you would like more information on building a creative CV, please contact us using the information on the previous page.
  • If you have any issues with the online form, please contact us using the information on the previous page.

Postal Applications

  • Please print the pdf [top of the page] and use the form attached and send to the address listed. 
  • Remember to include a writing sample.
  • If it is hand-written, please make sure that your handwriting is legible. 
  • If you are unable to afford the postage, please contact us using the information on the previous page.

Video or Audio Applications

  • Video and audio applications should be no more than 3 minutes in length
  • We will be sharing a how-to video on our social media to demonstrate how to create a video application
  • High-quality composition and editing is not a necessity but make sure that we can hear you clearly. If you are using a video application to demonstrate your practice, please make sure the video is clear and showcases your work to the best of your ability. 
  • If you have any issues with uploading your file, please get in touch using the information on the previous page. 
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