Catherine Wheels Theatre Company Exploring ‘new normal’

Catherine Wheels is Scotland’s most celebrated children’s theatre company. Created in 1999 by Artistic Director, Gill Robertson, the internationally acclaimed Musselburgh based company is reaching out to artists and all practitioners interested in work for young audiences to help the company explore what children’s theatre could look like in ‘the new normal’.

Gill Robertson comments, “We recognise that this is a time for great uncertainty for artists and for our sector generally. Rather than shy away from that, we want to embrace it and use it as a provocation to really dig deep into what children’s theatre could be. This fund turns everything on its head and asks some really big questions. I am excited to see what new ways of working we can discover and support.”

Chiming with the celebration of the Company’s 20th birthday, the new Make Space fund invites applicants from across Scotland and across disciplines who are interested in making work for young people, to investigate new ways of creating and presenting children’s theatre. The fund will provide applicants with resources to research and develop their ideas, along with the support of Catherine Wheels’ team.

Through Make Space, the company wants applicants to address issues including carbon-neutral touring, creating work for online audiences, and presenting work in flexible spaces. A large emphasis will also be placed on engaging local communities, and Catherine Wheels hopes that one of the projects will support an idea based in their home region of East Lothian.

Make Space will provide funds of up to £2,000 per project for five applicants that explore new ways of creating, presenting, and touring work for young Scottish audiences in an uncertain future. On offer will be artistic, technical and producing support; rehearsal space; the resources of sound/lighting etc. The fund can be used to pay for the applicant’s own time, working with others, materials and associated costs of delivering their idea. 

Applications are open to anyone involved in theatre, whether you are a lighting or set designer, a writer, director, musician, choreographer, technician, theatre maker or someone who doesn’t fit neatly into any description but is interested in the Company’s questions. You do not need to have a final product in mind, this is a fund to ask questions and research ideas.

 While applicants must be based in Scotland, and the Company is keen to hear from applicants who identify as BAME/Person of Colour, D/deaf, disabled, LGBTQ+, we would like one of the artists to be based in our home region of East Lothian.

Please submit a brief description of your idea and budget by video or audio file or by another form that best allows you to express your idea. 

Deadline for applications is 12pm on Friday 29 May and successful projects will be announced on Friday 5 June.  A panel of two freelance artists, the writer James Ley and the designer Karen Tennent, will join the Catherine Wheels team on Monday 1 June to make a selection.

For more information on Make Space and how to apply please visit the Catherine Wheels website.

Irene Brown

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