The Student Guide to Playwriting | Winner’s Blog #5

The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting winners are busy at work on their winners’ play, which will be performed on Playwriting Day at London Writers Week on 5 July and published by Oberon Books.

Inspired by the theme of the competition, the winners’ play will be on the theme of what it means to be a student in the UK today – with funding changes, a decline in student numbers studying drama, the cancellation of the A level in creative writing and a debate about EBACC and whether it should include creative subjects scheduled for July 4th in parliament, it felt like an important subject.

Here’s our fifth winner’s interview, this time with Monique Geraghty, joint univeristy winner. 

1. Can you tell us about who you are?

Growing up in a creative family, every summer was a summer school. There has always been an adventurous element when growing up, whether it was hiking or music. My endeavors in London has been one very much filled with drama. Representing Israel in the opening and closing ceremony of the London Olympics and being presented with opportunities to work on character building with the likes of Kevin Spacey, London has been a great platform to explore my enjoyment for the stage. After embarking on an exchange at the University of Melbourne, I have expanded my base of Literature. Like London and Manchester, the experience has highlighted to me the great resources available for students in any cultured city.

2. Why did you follow the lesson plans and enter The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting?

To apply more structure to my writing. The pieces I write usually come in the form of short stories or poems. I felt that the topics I covered lent themselves to theatre so I saw this as an opportunity to gain guidance about how to structure my ideas in the form of a stage script.

3. What does winning The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting mean to you?

An opportunity to meet and work with other writers as well as being guided by great people in the theatre industry. It will be great to have my work published by Oberon books and performed at London Writers Week. The prospect of people interpreting these works on stage is really great.

4. The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting is about studying playwriting (via the lesson plans), why do you think studying’s important?

It’s a way of illustrating different ways to focus the mind and opens up the mind to access opportunities. It’s not just about being a consumer of university life, today students can really tailor their studying to what it is they want to gain from their course.

5. What do you think being a student or emerging artist in playwriting in the UK means today?

I think that being an emerging artist in the UK today entails keeping focused and always having an awareness of what creative developments are happening around you. This seems to be apparent even more so living in London. Being a student in London is a great asset when it comes to accessing professional platforms alongside your studies. Getting to see such a mixture of live performance is a tool that should definitely be utilized. There are so many great projects and contributing to that creativity gives a voice to different ways of thinking.

6. What do you think students and emerging artists in playwriting need?

A positive voice saying you are doing well. There you go I’ve just said it.

7. What are your top tips for other emerging playwrights?

Write write write. I realized that writing is an important vehicle for expression. To put my ideas down on paper helps me clarify what it is that I think. It is definitely a vehicle for clarifying my views. I’ve always combined sports and studying. Both seem to go hand in hand and the combination keeps your ideas fresh and accessible.

8. What inspires you?

Having such an array of different resources accessible to me in London. The amount of exhibitions and galleries on our doorstep is fantastic. Utilizing the amount of theatre we have in the city and watching new and different ways stories are being told. As well as enjoying contemporary dance at spaces such as Sadlers Wells, I’d say for me other design forms, such as fashion, hold an important role in telling a story and I think performance exists in all walks of life, from the way the news is covered to visual representations. News media coverage has as much of an influence on my creative projects as theatre does.

Many thanks and congratulations to The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting winner Monique Geraghty!