Boost! Touring Lab

Applause are pleased to launch Boost! , a free, two-day residential training and development Lab.

The purpose of this Lab is to upskill and prepare artists and choreographers/devisers working in contemporary dance, krump, hip hop, kathak, bharatanatyam – or contemporary circus who are interested in extending their work to outdoors or developing their understanding of the outdoor touring sector. This Lab forms part of Applause’s ongoing commitment to support global majority led performance and broaden the range of work currently on offer for small-scale touring environments.

The two and a half day Lab will include a varied programme of workshops, seminars and creative tasks in order to expand participants’ development and thinking in different contexts. It will feature contributions from sector organisations as well as practical performance workshops from theatre, dance and circus companies successfully making work for these contexts.

Priority will be given to artists from minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds who are working in the Creative Estuary region of North Kent and South Essex. However, Applause would also like to hear from underrepresented artists who may be working outside the CE region but are based in the Southeast.

Boost! is an Applause and Creative Estuary Co-commission in collaboration with 101 Creation Space and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.

Applause is an ACE funded National Portfolio Organisation based in Kent that has developed a highly successful outdoor touring scheme for rural locations and semi-urban communities. Each year they support artists to create and tour small scale shows across their network of volunteer hosts and festival promoters in Kent, East and West Sussex, Essex and the wider region.

Details of Lab: Mon 12 – Wed 14 September

The Lab will be fully catered with two nights’ accommodation at a local hotel in Hornchurch. We have ten places available in single occupancy rooms. We would also welcome applications from local artists who are able to attend without an accommodation requirement.

Click this link for more information and to apply.

Ragged Edge Productions are seeking new Trustees

Ragged Edge Productions are seeking new Trustees to increase the skills, knowledge and lived experience of our Board and to support our work in the years ahead.

While we are keen to hear from anyone with an interest in developing work in Cumbria and rural touring more generally, we particularly encourage applications from people with disability, people from culturally and socio-economically diverse backgrounds, young people and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

We are also specifically seeking candidates with these skills:

  • Community based projects
  • Press and communications including digital marketing
  • Growing organisations
  • We are also open to what you might like to offer us!

About Ragged Edge Productions

Ragged Edge is an award-winning theatre company making entertaining and engaging shows which take a fresh look at current issues and ideas. We celebrate the power and creativity of theatre with quality shows at a time when funding for the arts is scarce. We take theatre to places on the edge of arts provision, in our countryside, towns and cities.

In its work Ragged Edge recognises that the local delivery of live performing arts is really important in maintaining the quality of life in a thriving rural community. It provides access to the arts for those that may not have the means to travel (particularly important in economically challenging times). We aim to be relevant to and appeal to rural communities and their culture.

We produce work for rural touring as well as theatres and community spaces. Recent activity includes a range of Audio Adventures – both professional performances and participatory projects working with community groups.

The Role of the Trustee

Ragged Edge is a registered charity (no. 1164255). The Trustees are legally responsible for the organisation. As a Trustee, you will help ensure that Ragged Edge complies with its governing documents and legal requirements, as well as supporting the company’s work. You will bring an external perspective and help the organisation in a way that suits your skills. You will act as an ambassador for Ragged Edge. There are four Trustee meetings each year, usually held in Cumbria but we have also met via Zoom. Take a look at the Ragged Edge Website here: https://raggededgeproductions.co.uk

For an informal chat about being a Trustee please get in touch with Stefan Escreet, Artistic Director StefanEscreet@raggededgeproductions.co.uk Or Heather Askew, Chair of Trustees heatheraskew27@hotmail.com

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Stefan Escreet, Artistic Director StefanEscreet@raggededgeproductions.co.uk by 15 th August 2022.

Pentabus Launch 2022 Season
Plus Announce their New Associate Artist

Today Pentabus announce their 2022 Season which features a new commission touring in the autumn, the return of Pentabus Young Writers live production and three new digital projects including full length pieces written by their two most recent Clive Richards Foundation Writers-in-Residence.

  • Back to the Light by Pentabus Young Writers, nine new short plays which will be showcased at the Courtyard Hereford on 12 and 13 July 2022.
  • Little Bits of Ruined Beauty a new play by Tom Wentworth, commissioned with Unlimited and touring the West Midlands this autumn.
  • Two new digital theatre pieces written by the most recent Pentabus Writers-in-Residence – DESTINY by Florence Espeut-Nickless and The Silence & the Noise by Tom Powell, a co-production with Rural Media.
  • I’m Here, five new short digital commissions including the winner of the inaugural Pentabus Young Writers Alumni award.
  • For two weeks only, from Friday 24 June, free access to watch the live capture of Matt Hartley’s Idyll which toured outdoor venues across the West Midlands and the Marches to critical and audience acclaim in summer 2021.
  • Ten professionally produced new audio dramas written by Pentabus Young Writers National Group, to be released in September 2022.

In addition to this smorgasbord of new work, Melina Barnett joins Karishma Balani, Izzy Rabey, Sophie Stone, Anoushka Warden, Ross Willis, and Young Associates Callum Beardmore and Ruth Cowell, as a Pentabus Associate Artist.

Elle While, Pentabus Artistic Director said: ‘This season is full of hope and conversation and celebration as we step forward together in these challenging times. We are championing some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights to tell stories that will reach across generations and cultures to bring people together.’

For press enquiries please contact Catrin John – catrin@pentabus.co.uk or Verity Overs Morrell – verity@pentabus.co.uk
Pentabus.co.uk | Youtube: PentabusTheatre | Instagram: Pentabustheatrecompany
Facebook: PentabusTheatre | Twitter: @pentabustheatre

H.A.N.D.S Company/Artist Call Out – Rural Touring North of England

Are you a company that has an existing performance piece that you are interested in adapting for a range of venues and space options but need advice?

Do you work across the North of England or are you interested in rural touring to venues across Cumbria, Lancashire, East and North Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, County Durham and Cheshire?

Have you considered rural touring as an option?

The Northern Consortium of Rural Touring Schemes is opening a call out for four professional companies from any performing arts context to be part of our project H.A.N.D.S Programme supported by the rural touring schemes ArtERY Live, Cheshire Rural Touring Arts, Highlights Rural Touring, Live Lincs, Rural Arts and Spot On and funded through Arts Council England in 2022.

H.A.N.D.S (Helping, artists, needs, develop, sustainably) is an 18-month mentoring programme working with 8 diverse-led emerging small-scale touring companies. The activity builds on a Pitching & Mentoring initiative across 6 rural touring schemes that ended in 2020.

The programme aims to support companies to:

  • Build a sustainable and resilient touring model
  • Develop new work for community venues and libraries
  • Develop innovative and flexible approaches to presenting work
  • Enhance artistic practice and produce high quality and adventurous work
  • Support artists to adapt work for live and online settings

This is achieved through:

  • Allocation of a specific RTS mentor for each company
  • Workshops and 1-2-1 sessions with industry mentors and experienced rural touring artists/companies
  • Commissioning online resources
  • Training in pitching and mentoring, marketing, bid writing and audience engagement
  • Training in covid 19 compliance (if necessary/relevant)
  • Artist residencies in rural venues
  • Provide experience of showcasing work to RT promoters – NRTF conference (Buxton 13-15 Jun 22)

How to apply

If you are keen to take part in H.A.N.D.S in the period March – November 2022 then please apply to be considered. Funds are available to support the above listed aspects and include costs covered for mentoring meetings, online pitching workshops, mentoring on any aspect of rural touring or adaption of your work (dramaturg, scenery adapter, marketing support, small scale touring planning and funding etc) your time and a place at the NRTF Conference in June.

Previous H.A.N.D.S programme companies have gone on to book dates/tours with rural touring schemes and small venues including through the Northern Consortium of Rural Touring Schemes in the North of England. The skills and mentoring offered allows for relationship building with promoters, scheme managers, programmers and bookers across the North of England and across the UK.

Open Call – submission deadline Tuesday 15 March 10pm.

Selection Process Companies are considered by a panel of Rural Touring Scheme Managers and the H.A.N.D.S coordinator and will be confirmed by not later than 31 March 2022.

To apply please email the coordinator at handscallout@gmail.com for full application details.

Recruiting NOW for the Pentabus Young Writers Groups

Pentabus Theatre Company’s ground-breaking Young Writers Group offers two free playwrighting programmes for young people aged 16-30 from rural areas. Participants will write a short play for a professional production. The National and Local groups both begin in January 2022, so no matter where you’re based, you can take part.

Each course offers a series of workshops, leading up to a professional production of work in the summer. The Young Writers will decide the subject of their play and work through different drafts with in-depth support and feedback from professional playwrights, actors, directors and designers.

Pentabus Artistic Director Elle While said: ‘I can’t wait to be inspired by the voices of the next generation of Pentabus’ Young Writers who will be participating in our Local and National playwriting courses. Invigorating and dynamic new writing is at the heart of our organisation and bringing the Young Writers’ work to life in professional productions is one of the highlights of the Pentabus Programme.’

The Local Group will be run through a combination of online evening sessions and in-person weekend sessions in Hereford. The course tutors are Florence Espeut-Nickless (Pentabus Writer in Residence) and Ant Stones (Associate Playwright for Guildford Shakespeare Company). The National Group will be take place via a series of online evening session, run by Tom Powell (Pentabus Writer in Residence 2020), alongside Ant Stones. 

No previous experience of playwrighting is necessary. This programme is aimed at young people who may not even know they’re writers yet.

Former Young Writer Ruth Cowell said: “It’s been the push I needed to stop waiting for permission to consider myself an artist or a writer. Having the support of Pentabus has really changed how I view my place in the industry and given me the self-confidence to make my own work and opportunities.”

Contact youngcompany@pentabus.co.uk to register your interest or for more information.

Digital Resources

www.pentabus.co.uk 

Twitter: @pentabustheatre | Facebook: www.facebook.com/pentabustheatre  Instagram : pentabustheatrecompany   YouTube: www.youtube.com/pentabustheatre

Live & Local: Developing Artists in Rural Touring day for Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Artists

  • Are you or do you consider yourself to be a professional arts organisation or performer?
  • Do you ideally live or work in either Lincolnshire or Nottinghamshire or have strong links to either or both counties?
  • Have you considered rural touring?

Live and Local, through its Developing Artists in Rural Touring (DART) programme, is looking to find and support artists interested in rural touring.

We are running a whole day for performing artists and arts organisation to find out about opportunities to tour performances in rural locations with Live & Local. At the event you will get to meet our friendly and helpful staff, meet performers and promoters as well as having an opportunity to tell us about yourselves. We are prioritising those artists who work or are based in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. You could be a musician, dancer, spoken word artist or theatre maker.

Details of the Day

  • Tuesday 8th February 2022
  • Venue – Newark Civil War Centre
  • Time 10.00 to 4pm for a 10.30 start.

We will fund each company (up to 12) £200 to come along and we’ll treat you to lunch and tea and coffee too.

How can I be part of this?

Apply by completing the application form by Friday 14th Jan at 5pm. You will need to be available on the 8th February to apply.

For more information and to download the application form please go to the link Jobs at Live & Local (liveandlocal.org.uk)

What is the selection process?

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Links to one of both counties
  • Artistic quality
  • Interest in rural touring

Please also feel free to email Steve Wilson, Artist Engagement Officer,  Steve@liveandlocal.org.uk if you have any questions.

What happens after the programme?

We will be looking to support those organisations/individuals further through mentoring support with the aim for you to be able to have a show ready for rural touring.

About Live & Local

Live & Local is an arts organisation with more than 20 years’ experience of touring professional performing arts into rural communities. From its base in Warwick, it has grown to serve 8 counties, being: Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire. We currently programme about 500 shows a year in 300 rural locations. Take a look around the website to find out more.

Applause Call Out For Artists

Applause is pleased to announce that our 2022 Outdoor season commission programme is now open.

If you are a company / artist with an established interest and track record of working outdoors and interactively this could be the opportunity for you.

Applause Rural Touring works with artists and communities to bring exceptional arts to familiar local spaces. Every year Applause commissions new shows to tour alongside some returning favourites. These shows are developed especially for outdoor events and offers these professional, exciting and unique performances to a range of promoters including small village fetes and community events, as well as larger established events and festivals.

Want to take part?

Your work will entertain and engage a diverse audience, be self-sufficient (i.e. not require technical or other support / involvement by the host organisation) and be able to be accessed by all. Performances can be walk about, static productions (of no more than 25 minutes in length), installations or interactive events and are intended to suit a range of time frames and to slot into existing activities. You will be expected to perform up to three times in a day.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals or companies, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief.

Commissions and Reshape/Development Awards

To tour alongside our previously commissioned work, we are looking to support up to 6 new shows to be created for touring in 2022.

All ideas are welcome, including but not limited to work that responds to key cultural events that are happening in 2022 (i.e. Platinum Jubilee, Commonwealth Games) and work that includes community engagement in the development process.

Click here to download the full brief including fees

Deadline – end of day Friday 8th October

Applause & 101 Creation Space: Rural Touring Lab

A free two-day residential training and development lab produced by Applause and 101 Creation Space.

Applause and 101 Creation space are offering a two-day residential training and development lab to upskill and prepare dance and contemporary circus artists for creating and touring outdoor work within rural locations and urban communities.

This practical event delves into the nuts and bolts of outdoor rural touring, offering detail and insight about where to look for commissioning and touring opportunities, examples of tried and tested techniques and approaches to making work for these settings and what to consider when building partnerships with promoters and rural communities.

The two and a half day Lab will involve a varied programme of workshops, seminars and creative tasks in order to expand your development and thinking in different contexts. The sessions will feature contributions from sector organisations including Applause Rural Touring, The National Rural Touring Forum, Live & Local & Creative Arts East, as well as practical performance workshops from theatre, dance and circus companies successfully making work for these contexts.

The Lab includes a welcome dinner and opportunities for 1 to 1 mentoring sessions throughout the event to explore your own artistic practice and its suitability. As a delegate on the Lab, you will stay onsite at 101’s residential artist village in one of our individual en-suite cabins so that you can continue to network and idea share with peers outside the structured sessions – plus there will be optional activities to get involved with in your free time! We will also be providing full catering so that you can focus on the experience and truly immerse yourself into your practice whilst you are with us.

To gain maximum benefit from this free residential course this opportunity is for artists who have an existing show that they are looking to reshape or have an idea for a new commission that they are looking to develop for this sector.

To apply: please send a covering letter or video outlining your interest in rural touring, a summary of your current practice and a brief outline of the show that you’re looking to develop to hello@101outdoorarts.com by 5pm on 5 July 2021.

juggler balances a framed portrait on his nose

The Rural Touring Lab is produced with support from Arts Council England and SELEP Ltd as a part of Catalyst For Culture and Marlowe, Canterbury.Share

Pentabus – Spring Calling

Pentabus is marking one year since the country went into the first lockdown with two audio pieces inspired by the provocation – Spring’s Calling.

An image of the words ‘Spring’s Calling’ written under torn paper

I, Nyx: (A daughters daughter) 

by Sophie Stone 

Folklore and Fitness with Carole Vegan

by Tim Foley

Released on Saturday 20 March 2021, 10am

Listen via: https://pentabus.co.uk/springs-calling

These two pieces are part of an event coinciding with the Spring Equinox on Saturday 20 March 2021, coordinated by the West Midlands Culture Response Unit to mark one year since the country went into the first lockdown.  

The event will be made up of 3-5 minute audio artworks, including spoken word, podcasts, music and singing – from artists and organisations across the region. The pieces focus on nature, spring, outdoors, reflection, restarting and growth; as the cultural sector looks ahead to returning to live events, re-opening venues and welcoming back audiences.To enjoy the event, audiences should search for the hashtag #SpringsCalling across social media.

Pentabus Artistic Director, Elle While said: ‘I am delighted we have commissioned these extraordinary artists to contribute their spellbinding work to Spring’s Calling. I urge you to put your headphones on or watch the waves of their voices to transport you; your heart will swell, your smile will spread as we look forward to brighter days.’ 

The audio releases will be available on Pentabus’ website as well as social media from 10am on Saturday 20 March 2021.

Pentabus.co.uk | Youtube: PentabusTheatre

All Press Enquiries: Catrin John | Email: catrin@pentabus.co.uk

Rural Touring In Lockdown – One Year On

Rural Touring has not stopped despite the Pandemic

Rural touring sector continues to be creative during 12 months of lockdown

The Bluebirds Popera House event presented by Take Art at Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall in August 2020 Photo by Darren Honeywell

As the anniversary of the first lockdown passes, and rural audiences remain to be forced to stay at home, artists, rural touring schemes and volunteer promoters have found ways to continue to entertain communities, outside of shows in their usual venues in village halls, pubs, libraries, and community centres. In the face of COVID-19 Pandemic, the rural touring sector used their close community connections and in-depth knowledge of the needs of their audiences and artists to pivot quickly and innovatively. They commissioned and delivered professional work, not just for the digital space, but they have found ways to reach those not able to get online.

This includes commissioned radio concerts, theatre on the back of lorries, commissioned video shorts, reimagined theatre online, artists partnered with community groups, hyper-local outdoor performance for micro audiences, building a symphony of the countryside, digital diaries, plays by phone, dramas by postcard, shared and posted equipment, the creation and distribution of wellbeing packs, drive-in events and so much more. Rural touring across the country has never been more innovative or creative.

Rural Touring Schemes and promoters have been quietly producing programmes with an aim to not shout about it as attracting large audiences to shows was not the desired intention. It has all been personally delivered for individual villages so they could maintain COVID Safe social distancing. Some shows were put on for 30 minutes on one village green then moved to do the same in the neighbouring community. The work has been for small and specific audiences to ensure the residences maintain access to high-quality cultural provision and all the community health and wellbeing benefits that go along with that.

Symphony of the Countryside, a short film collaboration, led by Rural touring Scheme Carn to Cove in Cornwall. It involved rural promoters and audiences across England, professional musicians, poets, plus amateur and professionally shot images of the British Countryside capturing the summer of lockdown. Arts Alive in Shropshire and Herefordshire launched Arts Alive on Wheels, touring small scale shows outdoors on the back of a lorry. Highlights across the north of England commissioned a series of special concerts, Highlights at Home, which aimed to cut through the digital divide, premiered on BBC local radio. Cheshire Rural Touring Arts supported Stute Theatre to develop a new piece of telephone theatre called ‘You Don’t Know Me But…’ which was a 1-1 live 20 min piece of theatre down the phone incorporating a soundscape and music as well as a live performer. Take Art in Somerset has developed a new network called Totally Local, incorporating 14 outdoor performances in 6 villages.

Artsreach (RT scheme in Dorset) has felt like a ‘big hug’ during the pandemic,” says a Promoter on the south coast. 

Spot On in Lancashire commissioned a season of video shorts. Black Country Touring hosted Zoom Café, an interactive show about the history of coffee and tea.  Lockbusters, a series of film packs with a selection of themed DVDs, books and journals created by Live and Local across the Midlands was shared within rural and hard to reach communities. Online performances from the Rural Touring Dance Initiative have taken place, sharing contemporary dance commissioned specifically for rural audiences.

Dommy B, who produced a film with Spot On in Lancashire, says “Being occupied with something creative and kind, has been awesome and very helpful on a personal level to my mental health”.

As well as generating top-quality entertainment for audiences, rural touring schemes have also fought hard to continue to find ways to pay artists and freelancers.  National Rural Touring Forum, the umbrella organisation for the UK’s rural touring sector, diverted some of its Arts Council of England funding to help artists, schemes and promoters with extra support, advocacy and communications. It produced one of the biggest and most ambitious digital conferences in the performing arts sector throughout October 2020. Holly Lombardo, NRTF Director, says

I cannot express how proud I am to be part of an organisation that supports such a resilient, caring, and innovative sector. I am blown away by the response our members have had in continuing to bring work to communities.