criptDawg was founded in the autumn of 2016 by Newportonian James Humphreys. A Scriptwriting graduate from the University of South Wales, he was feeling increasingly disenfranchised by the lack of opportunities for new writers.
The enterprising young buck that he is, James developed the 72-Hour Writing Challenge in Cardiff, intent on freely staging the work of ambitious, wide-eyed scribes. The Challenge operates thusly:
DAY 1 - Writers are given a secret theme and a day to produce the first draft of a 5-10 minute theatre piece.
DAY 2 – Writers, actors and the director meet for read-throughs, all acting as script editors. Writers are given a day to produce a second draft.
Day 3 – Scripts are sent to the actors and director for rehearsals, in preparation for the performance that evening.
I, vanguard of the Rhondda Valley, was brought onboard a couple of months into the proceedings, helping James realise his vision to realise the vision of others. We cultivated a philosophy, an ethos, orbiting some pivotal precepts. More than providing an accessible platform for new writers (and a challenge to the more seasoned wordsmith), ScriptDawg was to make theatre comfortable for an audience unfamiliar with the medium. Free from the endemic ideology of the arts. Grounded in the working class. Grass-roots. PUNK. It's "Dawg", not "Dog".
Along the way, we recruited two other members, also, first and foremost, writers. Now the four of us charge forward, a company OF writers FOR writers.
As we've steadily built a name for ourselves, so have we been accordingly planning expansion. On the 28th of April, we'll be holding an event in AJ's Coffee House in Cardiff: An Evening with Pigs. The night represents the culmination of our first prolonged development project, outside the scope of those intense 72 hours. We'll be staging two roughly twenty-minute pieces; a monologue revolving around sexual harassment in Hollywood; and a tragicomedy following a woman's attempts to integrate into a new community via meat.
We staged a read-through of the pieces mid-March, where we encouraged the audience to offer their insights and opinions. From there, we've been helping the writers expand and shape their scripts, ready for the big night.
Though we're primarily based in Cardiff, there is absolutely zero restriction on those with whom we collaborate. We've had writers and performers of all ages, from all corners of our United Kingdom... except Northern Ireland, word's still travelling. The estimable Kym Frederick herself has written for our Challenge. Anyone from never-picked-up-a-penners to can't-put-down-the-penners, we embrace you all.
We have many a-glorious project a-foot. For now, we'll keep relatively hush-hush about the whole business... but if you'd like to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or our website (all relevant links should be below), we'll keep you firmly in the loop. Similarly, if you'd like to get involved in any capacity, drop us a line. The sinister, anonymous voice of social media tells us that we're very responsive. And to dispute that data is to deny reality itself.
ScriptDawg was born out of a frustration that the artistic sphere had been monopolised. By established voices and by initiatives that didn't exactly prioritise the writer. Since the inception of the Dawg, we've seen our influence spread. It remains an uphill struggle, but it's a hill we're unwaveringly determined to surmount. To broadcast the expression of the up-and-coming. For the benefit of all, not merely the theatrical elite. We'd love to have your company for the journey.
You can start by popping along to An Evening with Pigs and seeing just what we're all about.
'Til then, oink oink. And woof woof.
Relevant Information & Links:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ScriptDawg/
Event Page - https://www.facebook.com/events/893917964102218/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/scriptdawguk
Website - https://www.scriptdawg.co.uk