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New database and distribution channel for play scripts

Publishing & Media

Database of play scripts opens up new opportunities for budding playwrights.

Way back in 2009, Springwise looked at a couple of startups that were innovating in the world of theatre. Amongst them, National Theatre Live which livestreams theatre performances into cinemas, and a new theatre company which sets up personalized immersive experiences for each audience member. Now Treepress is an online platform designed for users to upload, search and license playscripts.

Treepress’ founder, Laura Fisher, explains that there are 700,000 amateur theatre performances in the UK alone. The startup is an online network for play scripts. Users can upload their scripts to the site and search the database to discover new work. Treepress’ technology ‘dives deep’ into the language, themes and message of each script to allow those searching to find exactly the work that they’re looking for. The innovation aims to solve key problems of theatre publishing: publishers struggle to distribute, self-publishing is time consuming, and content is impossible to find. Co-founder Adrienne Ferguson, who was a drama teacher for 15 years, explains: “I got to the stage where I had run out of plays to do. My options were either to repeat stories I had already told or to write my own… We want to break that cycle of the same stories being told on our school stages. We know there are teachers and local community directors who want to put on a really great story and we want to see a wider breadth.”

Those who create a profile on the site can browse plays from all over the world. They can also connect with others on the platform, share work and follow those they admire. The site also publicizes submission opportunities for budding playwrights.

iTunes has revolutionized the way music is licensed and distributed. Is theatre the next frontier?

Website: www.treepress.org

Contact: www.twitter.com/TreePress

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