Discovery Programme


Kali’s free writing programme for aspiring women playwrights in the East Midlands, West Midlands and London.

In collaboration with Birmingham Repertory Theatre , Leicester Curve and London’s Pleasance Theatre

Selected writers will receive:

  • 3 playwriting workshops led by leading female practitioners
  • Dramaturgical support to develop their 10-page submission into a 20-minute play
  • Rehearsal with actors and director
  • Two public performances of a staged reading as part of a gala showcase for industry, friends and family
  • A bursary towards travel expenses and childcare
  • Access to theatre events

DISCOVERY will run from September 2018 to March 2019

Meet the Discovery Team, Associate Directors and Writer/Mentors here.

It is open to UK based women writers of South Asian descent* who are eligible to live and work in the UK, and who have not had a play presented as a full production.  No previous playwriting experience is necessary.

The 2018-19 programme has now closed for applications.

The Discovery Programme is led by Kali’s Artistic Director Helena Bell

*At least one parent must be descended from the diasporas of the Indian subcontinent


Discovery London Team 
Pleasance Head of Theatre  Nic Connaughton 
Discovery Associate Director  Sita Thomas
Discovery Associate Director Natasha Kathi-Chandra 

Discovery Writer/Dramaturg Atiha Sen Gupta

Discovery London Writers/Pieces
Aroob Sajjad – Roots
Martha Pothen – Chip Butty Chapati
Maeve Scullion – Operation Lotus Flower
Sarah Issac – Two Hearts


Discovery Leicester Team
Curve Associate Director   Suba Das
Discovery Associate Director  Trina Haldar 
Discovery Writer/Dramaturg Emteaz Hussain

Discovery Leicester Writers/Pieces
Erinn Dhesi – Sesh
Farhana Shaikh – Risk
Shruti Chauhan – The Night You Stayed Awake
Saroj Suri – Silence Broken


Discovery Birmingham Team
The REP Associate  Dan Bailey
The REP Associate Director Tessa Walker
Discovery Associate Director  Balisha Karra
Discovery Writer Alia Bano   

Discovery Birmingham Writers/Pieces
Sabiha Mank – Halima
Aliya Perager – Three Dates and a Girl
Natasha Hettihewa-Young – Amma’s Girls
Dipali Das – We Fight to Save a Flower

Show Dates/Booking


22nd Feb 2019

Pleasance Theatre, London


22 March 2019

Curve, Leicester

Booking Now


29 March 2019

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Booking Now

“The sessions have encouraged me to recognise and take advantage of my strengths, and the workshop leaders have instilled a lot of confidence through the time and attention they have taken with each writer.”


Sabiha Mank

“Without the insights from the workshops I would never have felt able to develop my work at all. The entire experience of working with Kali Theatre feels transformative for me.”

Natasha Hettihewa-Young

“I feel much more confident with technical aspects of writing for stage and look forward to further development that the programme offers.”

Farhana Shaikh

“All of the dramaturges I have met have been both generous and inspiring with their time and expertise and I feel hugely grateful to have been chosen  to be part  of this programme.”

Sarah Isaac

“In terms of being a writer, the deadlines have pushed me to consolidate my ideas, otherwise they can often run away from me!”

Aroob Sajjad

“Being an Asian woman of nearly 80 years of age, I have not experienced any barriers or any negativity, in fact this programme and the people involved have supported, encouraged and given me a platform to share my writing and stories inspiring me to carry on regardless of my old age.”

Saroj Suri

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