The Company of Players (CoPs) - Hertford

Directing at Cops

COPS. It is a great venue to direct a play. The theatre can accommodate a thrust, traverse, and standard proscenium arch arrangements in an intimate venue with up to date technical facilities, knowledgeable crew and a great cast pool.

We ask directors to submit play(s) and then a committee will consider all submissions before coming to a decision on a balanced season of 5 plays.

Our aim is to select the best season possible by maximising the number of submitting directors and being offered a good range of plays to choose from. We are now looking for directors for the season from September 2019 to June 2020.

Anyone can submit a play to direct, and we are actively seeking new directors. Experience at COPS or at other venues is seen as an advantage, so assisting to direct a current COPS production is a way to gain that experience. Do please ask …


At this early stage if you are considering submitting for the season September 2019 to June 2020, then all you need to do is please just drop a line to by midnight on Saturday 1st September 2018.

We will then get back in touch. The number of plays we ask for may be dependent on how many potential directors we have: if we only have 5 we might ask for 3 or more plays from each, if we have 20 directors, it maybe just be 1 – but please be aware, if we cannot make a balanced season, we may come back and ask for another choice.

If you already know plays you want to submit you actually can submit them now using this simple online form. The submission process will close at midnight on Friday 31st August 2018 and we will look to make a decision by November/December depending on the number of plays submitted.

Finding a play

A list of previous productions can be seen on our Past Productions page.

Whilst we have never repeated a play, yet, but it is unlikely we would repeat one we have done fairly recently.

The list of websites below can assist in finding new plays.

Please note: We will only select plays which are available for amateur performance at the time the selection takes place. It is therefore unlikely that plays that are currently professional at the time of submission will be selected.

Play Selection Sources


Just because a play is listed on these sites it does not necessarily mean it is available for amateur performance. Some are just plays that they publish. Generally, if it is available for amateurs you will see a price per performance quoted, but you will often also see :

This title is currently restricted in London …” or “Some restrictions currently apply for this title“.

These maybe possible to do, it all depends – the second of those restriction statements applied to Flare Path but we still got a licence for June 18. If there is no price quoted and “This title is not currently available for performance. ” – then this is likely to be a no go. (for example The Woman in Black)

The following are the main licence holders websites for the UK:

Samuel French
Nick Hern
Josef Weinberger
Dramatists Play Service

Perusal Copies

To save money, you can get perusal copies of plays from some publishers (e.g. Nick Hern)

HCC’s Performing Arts Library based in Welwyn Garden City

A large including monologues, sketches, one-act and full length plays, from Shakespeare to contemporary playwrights, although they do not buy every new play. They also have play sets for reading and performance, but please note that although you can get single copies of plays out for free on a normal library ticket, play sets are chargeable and are restricted to company tickets, and only certain members of COPS can get sets out on our company ticket. Please ask Andy Lee if you do need a play set and he can get it.

Project Gutenberg

For classic works, which are out of copyright, you can often download them free from Project Gutenberg. The releases are available in plain text but, wherever possible, other formats are included, such as HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and Plucker. Most releases are in the English language.

Doollee Database

The Doollee Database has details of 55,018 playwrights and 185,532 of their plays, and is useful if you want to find out who publishes a certain play.

Awards – links to some of the more well-known awards sites

There are often a source of great play ideas, but bear in mind that professional plays will often take some years to become available for amateur performances, so it better looking a few years back.


Critics Circle:

Evening Standard

Total Theatre

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Tony Awards (Broadway)

New York Drama Critics’ Circle