DYSPLA sent a call out looking for neurodivergent storymakers, based in England, that were keen to write a script for screen or stage. We chose 2 and offered a 12-month program of development and support. The residency will be tailored to each resident and will take place in London throughout 2019. Along with Surgery Scripts sessions, dramaturgy, a rehearsed reading and mentoring.


Ed Harris is an Award Winning playwright, radio dramatist, librettist, poet and dramaturg based in Brighton. Ed’s first major play MONGREL ISLAND was commissioned by Soho Theatre and opened Steve Marmion’s first season as Artistic Director in July 2011. He is currently adapting WAR WITH THE NEWTS for Soho and his other plays include THE COW PLAY (UK tour /Edinburgh Fringe), WHAT THE THUNDER SAID (Writers’ Guild Award for Best Children’s Play 2017), and NEVER EVER AFTER (shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth Award). He is also currently writing the libretto for a new opera A SHOE FULL OF STARS for Opera Schmopera (funded by Arts Council England) and collaborating on projects for Candoco Dance Company and Gravity & Levity. Ed has also become one of BBC Radio Drama’s most regularly commissioned and highly acclaimed dramatists in the time since his first radio play PORSHIA was produced in 2007.

Between 2011 and 2015 he won a Sony Gold/Radio Academy Award for THE RESISTANCE OF MRS BROWN, a Writers’ Guild Award for TROLL, and a BBC Audio Drama Award for BILLIONS. Ed's recent radio commissions include a two-part adaptation of Franz Kafka’s THE CASTLE and multiple series of his hit Radio 4 comedy DOT ("A lovely, period-mocking script" - The Times), which will return later in 2018 for a third series.

Jo Tracy “After more than a decade working in Film and TV drama - Script Editor under George Faber then David Thompson at the BBC, Head of Development for Kevin Loader at The Bridge & Norma Heyman at Pagoda, Producer at Civilian Content (Chris Auty & Richard Holmes) - I had two daughters and decided to go freelance. Since then I've become a designated MEDIA expert in development and have worked in a freelance capacity for companies, funding bodies and individuals such as Working Title, Focus Features, Element Films, The Irish Film Board, BFI, Film London, Film Four, Monumental (film & TV), Creative England. Scottish Film Talent Network, Archery Pictures, Dixon Baxi Evans, Cosmo Jarvis and Abi Morgan. I have created & delivered a number of moving-image workshops and script-writing courses; and sat as judge on many a panel, including several years on the TV Emmy's Peter Ustinov new writers' competition.”

Lennie Varvarides - Founder of DYSPLA, Lennie Varvarides is an award-winning neurodivergent producer with 10 years of experience. Recently winning Best Artist Film at the Aesthetic Short Film Festival and currently running the Arts Council funded DYSPLA_storymakers residency. She successfully produced the DYSPLA International Moving Image Festival 2018 and produced the moving image installation ‘FIGHT’ which went on to be exhibited at the Festival of Audacity in Birmingham. In 2017 she produced YOU WILL FAIL HER, an Arts Council England funded, sold out installation at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth. She is also overseeing the post production of DYSPLA’s first VR piece “Radicalised Apathy”.

SURGERY SCRIPTS Since 2010 we have supported over 200 writers and directly worked with over 700 artists through Surgery Scripts (SS), our script development workshops primarily designed for the dyslexic and neurodivergent creatives. SS offers 4 writers per session an opportunity to work with professional directors and actors on around 15 minutes of their script. Each is performed and the writers receive feedback from the an audience of professional writers, directors, actors, producers. Click here to find outmore.

The neurodiversity paradigm was initially embraced by individuals on the autism spectrum, but subsequent groups have applied the concept to other developmental conditions such as ADHD, developmental speech disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysnomia and intellectual disability; mental health conditions such as bipolarity, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, sociopathy, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome.

DYSLEXIA “Dyslexia a ‘specific learning difficulty,’ which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing. Unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected. It’s estimated that up to 1 in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.” NHS.uk

“Sometimes Abbreviated as ND, neurodivergent means having a style of neurocognitive functioning that diverges significantly from the dominant societal standards of ‘normal’. Neurodivergent people include dyslexics, dyspraxics, AD(H)D, autistics (including those with Asperger’s), dyscalculics, OCD, dysgraphics, Tourettes, etc.” The Westminster AchievAbility Commission for Dyslexia and Neurodivergence 2018.

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