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Leading Children’s Theatre Supports Underrepresented Artists & Producers



One of the UK’s leading children’s theatres is offering opportunities and support to artists and producers who identify as disabled, LGBTQ+, or who come from a lower socio-economic background.

 

Polka Theatre’s Catapult programme will support people who are currently underrepresented in the industry to create theatre for young audiences (0–12-year-olds).

 

Six projects will be supported over the course of 12 months with seed funding, free rehearsal space, mentoring, training days from industry professionals, access to Polka produced shows, connections to Polka primary school partners, and industry showcase opportunities.

 

The programme will be divided into two sections: First Steps, for artists and companies who have a brand-new idea for a show (specifically for 0-6-year-olds), that hasn’t been drafted, performed or rehearsed before. Four artists will be chosen for this part of the programme. https://polkatheatre.com/first-steps/

 

And Next Steps, which will be open to artists and companies who may have a first draft, or a workshop under their belts, who are ready for help and support getting the show onto its feet and in front of programmers and producers. Two companies or artists will be chosen for this. https://polkatheatre.com/next-steps/

 

“I am so excited to be able to extend Polka’s commitment to supporting artists who want to take a risk with an original spark of an idea, and in particular to make sure that that investment is made in artists who currently are underrepresented in the Theatre for Young Audiences Sector,” said Helen Matravers, Polka Theatre’s Artistic Director.

 

“As one of very few dedicated Children’s Theatre spaces in the country, it is Polka’s mission to make sure we are discovering the most exciting, innovative and playful ideas for young audiences – and investing in new stories, voices and concepts that haven’t been heard before.

 

“It is increasingly difficult to tour, to secure project funding, and to access training which affords some room to play when making new shows. This programme is open to artists from all disciplines – directors, performers, designers, producers, movement directors, dancers…and at any stage of your career.

 

“I want Polka to feel like a genuine home for artists, where they can reach out for support and are served by an organisation who genuinely and meaningfully entertains the best audiences in the world.

 

“There is also a real need to identify brand new stories for children – those not adapted from books, tv shows, films or Western fairy tales. We are looking for artists who can address these gaps, with the very best innovative new ideas for Children’s Theatre.”

 

Polka Theatre is in Wimbledon, London. For further information https://polkatheatre.com/

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