The above image is of Aminder Virdee working on her scratch performance The Staff Infection, as part of BOP Artists 2017

On this page we post any opportunities we currently have available. Some of them will be for BOP only projects, others will be for projects we are working on in partnership with other organisations.

A note on terminology: often the opportunities we publicise are for “Disabled people”. We understand that some people (such as Deaf or autistic people) may not identify as “Disabled” – but we want to emphasise that these opportunities are also open to them. Click here for more detail on what we mean by “Disabled.”

The Birds of Paradise & Playwrights’ Studio Mentoring Award

Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday 30 September 2020

Graphic reads: Birds of Paradise & playwright's Studio Mentoring Award. Deadline Wed 30 Sep

The Birds of Paradise & Playwrights’ Studio Mentoring Award is designed for an aspiring disabled playwright who might have one or more of the following:

  • Very little, if any, playwriting experience. For example, you have yet to write your first full-length play.
  • Rehearsed readings of your short plays or extracts of your writing, or worked with others to improve your skills. However, this is not required.
  • Experience in other areas of creative writing. For example, prose, poetry or spoken word.

We believe diversity is essential to a thriving cultural sector and aim to work actively with writers from a range of different backgrounds. 

Because they are currently underrepresented, we strive to increase applications from and representation within our Programmes from playwrights:

  • Writing in Gaelic, Scots or BSL
  • Based outside the central belt of Scotland
  • From Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • Who are disabled
  • From socio-economically deprived backgrounds
  • Who are female, trans or non-binary

We welcome playwrights of any gender, religion or belief, age, or sexual orientation.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the Birds of Paradise & Playwrights’ Studio Mentoring Award, you will meet the following criteria:

  • You are an aspiring disabled playwright living anywhere in Scotland.
  • You have a specific idea you want to develop into a full-length play. You will receive the most benefit from the Birds of Paradise Mentoring Award if you are writing a play from scratch, so your play idea should not already be fully or substantially written. However, we understand that you may already have drafted some scenes.
  • You are available from mid-December for eight months to work on your script regularly. This includes monthly two-hour mentoring sessions, held the last week of each month.
  • You are available on Friday 4th December 2020 for the Playwriting Programme Induction Day. If you are unable to make this date, please let us know via
  • You are not a student in full-time formal education (16 hours or more per week) at the start of the Mentoring Programme. Applications may be considered from individuals who are undertaking a part-time course of study. However, this will depend on how it relates to your course.


Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and Birds of Paradise will work closely with the playwright selected for this Programme to ensure that their specific requirements are met. For example, this could be provision of BSL interpreters at mentoring sessions, travel expenses, childcare costs or simply documents printed in a different format. We have a dedicated access budget that enables us to provide this support. Please contact us via to discuss what we can do to support you through the Programme.

How does the selection process work?

In making its selection, the panel considers:

  • How the Award will contribute to the development of your writing
  • Your commitment to developing your playwriting skills and experience
  • The originality and potential of your idea and your voice

The selection panel for 2020/21 comprises Robert Softley Gale, Artistic Director, Birds of Paradise Theatre Company and  Fiona Sturgeon Shea, Creative Director, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland.

Playwrights writing in Gaelic or Scots can submit their full application in Gaelic or Scots.

We welcome applications in other formats, including video submissions and BSL. Please contact us at to discuss the best method of application to meet your individual requirements.

What's included in the award?

  • A £2,000 cash bursary 
  • Six mentoring sessions (one two-hour session each month for six months from January to June with an experienced professional playwright. This includes script-in-progress feedback).
  • Four skills workshops. In previous years, these have included Writing for Radio with former BBC Radio Drama Producer David Ian Neville and Introduction to the Business of Playwriting with playwright and screenwriter Stephen Greenhorn.
  • Community building, including the skills workshops, panel discussions and opportunities to meet socially.
  • A Cultural Trip, which includes a visit to the theatre to see a play with other playwrights from the Playwriting Programme, and the opportunity to meet key practitioners in Scottish theatre. At present, it isn’t possible to schedule this precisely but it is hoped that this will take place no later than spring 2021.

Dates for the Diary

Friday 4 DecemberPlaywriting Programme Induction Day
w/c 25 JanuaryFirst Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
w/c 22 FebruarySecond Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
Friday 26 FebruaryPlaywriting Workshop
w/c 29 MarchThird Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
Friday 2 AprilPanel Discussion with key practitioners in Scotland
w/c 26 AprilFourth Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
Friday 30 AprilPlaywriting Workshop
w/c 24 MayFifth Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
w/c 28 JuneFinal Mentoring Session – two-hour meeting with your mentor
JulyIndividual read-through of your script with a professional director and a cast of professional actors. More information will be available at the Playwriting Programme Induction Day.
August/SeptemberDay of Playwriting Workshops delivered by external partners

How do I apply?

We use the submissions management system Submittable to streamline our application process. You may find it helpful to use the practice application form & guide, to help you draft your submission before transferring to Submittable.

If you are unable to use Submittable, you can:

  • Email your submission to
  • Post your application to: Birds of Paradise & Playwrights’ Studio Mentoring Award, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

If applying by email or post you will need to include an Equalities Monitoring Form.

Please let us know if you would like the application form in a different format or require assistance completing the form. Contact us via email at

If you have problems using Submittable, or have any questions at all regarding or the application process, please feel free to email We are happy to help.

What do I need to include in my application?

Before you start your application please read the Frequently Asked Questions. We have also created a practice application form & guide, to help you draft your submission before transferring to Submittable.

As part of your application you will need to provide:

  • Contact details (including name, address and mobile number.)
  • Details of any communication or other access requirements that we should be aware of to support your participation in this Programme.
  • A statement explaining why you would like to be mentored, your commitment to developing your playwriting skills, and any previous experience.
  • The idea for the play you would like to work on as part of the Birds of Paradise & Playwrights’ Studio Mentoring Award.
  • A 100 word summary of your play idea. If your application is selected, this will be published on the Playwrights Studio website.
  • Details of anything else about yourself you feel is relevant to your application.
  • A brief biography detailing your writing experience to date. If your application is selected, this will be published on the Playwrights Database on the Playwrights’ Studio website.
  • Two five-page samples of your writing, at least one of these must be from a stage play. If you are unable to provide these, please contact us to discuss alternative options. Please don’t let this put you off from applying. We are happy to be flexible.
  • Synopses for each sample (maximum 50 words each. Please include these at the top of each writing sample.) If you are unable to provide these, please contact us to discuss alternative options. Please don’t let this put you off from applying.  We are happy to be flexible.
  • Whether you would like to write in English, Gaelic, Scots or BSL.
  • Confirmation you are available on Friday 4 December 2020 for the Playwriting Programme Induction Day. If you are unable to make this date, please let us know via

You will receive an email confirming the submission of your application.

Deadline: 5pm, Wednesday 30 September 2020.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission no later than Friday 27 November 2020.

Something to Say | Rudeigin ri Ràdh

Development and Commission Opportunity for Disabled Writers

Are you interested in writing drama for radio?

Theatre Gu Leòr and Birds of Paradise are excited to launch an opportunity to develop new voices for writing for radio.

Theatre Gu Leòr, in collaboration with BBC Radio nan Gàidheal and Birds of Paradise Theatre Company (BOP), have two opportunities for Gaelic and Disabled writers at any stage in their career – including those who haven’t written drama before – the opportunity to participate in this exciting development programme, Something to Say | Rudeigin ri Ràdh.

This project aims to amplify seldom-heard voices – both Gaelic voices and those of Disabled people.

One: Writer Development

Over a period of two months you’ll have the opportunity to attend workshops and advice sessions with experts in playwriting and radio drama in order to develop your skills, while you work on creating a new piece of radio drama.

Find out more about the Gaelic Strand on the Theatre Gu Leòr website: in English or Gaelic


Writer Development: What will happen?

The writers will all receive support and mentoring from Oliver Emanuel through two workshop sessions (in English), an exceptional playwright who has written for both theatre and radio throughout his career, and from Lynda Radley, a hugely talented playwright and respected mentor and dramaturg.

The deadline to apply for workshop attendance is Thursday 27th August

Digital* Workshops dates

  • 31st August – 10 – 12:30pm Workshop 1 – Writing Skills with Oliver Emanuel
  • w/c 7th September – Writing Workshop – Robert Gale and guest tbc – developing your ideas
  • w/c 14th September – Recording at home skills workshop with BOP
  • 21st September – First draft of scripts / ideas submitted to Lynda Radley & BOP
  • w/c 28th September – feedback 
  • 6th October – Workshop 2 – Writing Skills with Oliver Emanuel

*All workshops and sessions will take place online.  On application we will ask about the best ways in which to make this accessible to you.

Disabled writers

Writers working with BOP will undertake workshops with BOP Artistic Director, Robert Gale, and other disabled artists. BOP will work with you to support any access requirements you have in attending sessions and will pair you with a mentor to look at your work.  

Gealic writers

In addition to this, the Gaelic writers will have the opportunity to attend a session with award-winning Gaelic writer Catriona Lexy Chaimbeul, who adopted her novel Samhraidhean Dìomhair for BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Support will also be provided by BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, who will deliver a workshop for Gaelic actors on the skills and resources required for recording both at home and in the studio. A selection of new Gaelic monologues/ duologues will be broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal at the end of the year.

Two: Writer Commission

At the end of the development writers will have the option to apply for a commission to develop a piece of writing for recording and broadcast.  You do not have to take part in this development to apply for a commission but if you are interested in applying for a commission and would like support to develop your idea or skill up in this area we encourage you to take up this opportunity.

Four new monologues/ duologues will be commissioned by Birds of Paradise and recorded for broadcast on radio and podcast.  Through our partner’s strand of Gaelic focused development, four new monologues/ duologues will be commissioned by Theatre Gu Leòr and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

Applications not yet opened

Relaxed Performance Research

Call out: Project Facilitator

Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 4th October // Fee: £150 per day for 15 days

Birds of Paradise and Access Scottish Theatre are seeking an experienced facilitator to work with them as they undertake active research within the Scottish performing arts industry, to better understand how venues can better serve audiences – neurodivergent and anyone who experiences a better experience when certain barriers are removed  – with Relaxed performances and other services.

The Background:

In Scotland, there is currently no uniform definition for the term “Relaxed performance” or a clear understanding of what to expect at one. The variety of ways in which the term is applied to productions makes it hard for audiences to make an informed decision about which events will remove barriers for them and which will not.

Neurodivergent, what does that mean?

Neurodivergence means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from dominant societal standards of ‘normal’. Neurodivergent conditions include, but are not limited to: Autism Spectrum Condition, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, or ADD), Tourette Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, Down Syndrome and others. One might have a medical diagnosis, and / or may self-identify as being Neurodivergent.

Source: Aby Watson – Scottish Neurodiverse Performance Network

In addition to a lack of clarity, current practices present additional challenges, including:

  • Autistic people are often not consulted in the development of the Relaxed performance or additional facilities ie a quiet space
  • For many venues / organisations, their only Relaxed performance is at Christmas, and this irregularity makes audience development difficult
  • If resources (such as ear defenders) are provided, their effectiveness is sometimes not considered, often due to lack of consultation
  • Often when resources are provided, they are in bags branded with childish colours or characters – undermining the fact that autistic adults would also require these resources
  • If quiet spaces are provided, they are often inadequate; they are not actually quiet or they are used by people who do not actually require them
  • The specifics of how a performance has been made Relaxed are often not communicated to audiences

The Project

As a consequence of the pandemic and the subsequent pause  of theatre activity across the 2020 winter season and into 2021, Access Scottish Theatre is using this time to undertake research into Relaxed performances and environments with the aim of creating good practice guidelines.

One of the research methods will be a series of discussion workshops, attended by neurodivergent people and industry professionals, that will explore different aspects of what is offered at a Relaxed performance, (including: altered sensory stimuli; appropriate quiet “chill out” spaces; autism awareness training for venue staff; accessible marketing and audience development) to best understand where and how the experience for audiences can be improved.

We anticipate that this research project will result in guidelines, changes to Access Scottish Theatre, resources and support for venues.

The Role

We are seeking Project Facilitator to work with us in: planning the workshops, facilitating the workshops on the ground, evaluating the findings from the workshops and producing a set of recommendations.

This role will consist of 15 days work, to be spread over a number of weeks to be agreed. A proposed breakdown of the days could be: Planning – 4 days; Workshops – 8 days; Evaluation – 3 days, but this may change with your input during the planning stage.

Essential attributes:

  • Knowledge of Scottish performing arts industry
  • Experience in facilitation of group discussion
  • Experience of research evaluation
  • Experience of collating and presenting research

Desirable attributes:

  • An interest in this field
  • Identifying as neurodivergent or disabled
  • Experience of access barriers

For this role we can offer a fee of £150 per day for 15 days, for a total of £2250.00 

If you have any costs relating to access requirements, these will be discussed in addition to your fee.

How to Apply

To apply for this role please submit your CV and a covering letter of half a page to Callum Madge by midnight on Sunday 4th October.

Please also complete our Equalities Monitoring Form.

If you have any questions, please send them to Callum at the above email address