Foot In The Door: Meet the 2018 Cohort

Far from the shining lights of the X Factor or the Voice, we have teamed up with Lancaster ArtshÅb to offer five of the best new theatre talent a unique opportunity to kick start brand new ideas. In the spirit of reciprocity  the five selected artists will be taking part in workshops and will be mentored by renowned artists including Daniel Bye and Mary Pearson. The 2018 cohort will be the second to join the scheme, with previous participants having received funding from Arts Council England, undertaken national tours and performed to sell out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Following a competitive call out for proposals, a panel made up of representatives from Lancaster Arts, Making Room and Manchester’s hÅb selected the following artists: Jerusalem born vocalist and songwriter Avital Raz; Manchester-based stand-up comedian Amy Vreeke; cabaret performer Ashleigh Owen; storyteller Josh Gardner and writer/perfomer Emma Geraghty.

Making Room Artistic Director Leo Burtin said of the selection process: “When we choose the artists for this programme, we are particularly excited to imagine how they might work together as a group. We always look forward to seeing how they support and challenge each other.” This is echoed in Geraghty’s reaction to having been selected: “Foot In the Door will be a great opportunity to throw myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself as a solo artist.”

We’d like to invite you to join us for the Foot In The Door showcase taking place on February 15th at the Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster. This will be a unique opportunity to be among the first people to hear, see and engage with brand new ideas as they are developed.

Featured image: Josh Gardner, copyright Gemma Turnbull

About the participating artists

Avital Raz

Jerusalem born vocalist and songwriter Avital Raz is a strikingly original and fearless artist with a compelling ability to take the listener down often dark and dirty lyrical pathways. Difficult to pin down Avital carries through all kinds of Western and Eastern passages and emerges as a distinctive and truly individual voice that speaks with a very real and potent self expression. Funny at times, always feisty and possibly even a bit bonkers. The Scotland Herald said of her album: “It is likely to be one of the most compelling things you hear all year.”

Amy Vreeke

Amy is a theatre maker and stand-up comedian based in Manchester. She is fascinated by multi-genre, autobiographical work that explores social taboos with candour and comedy. Since graduating from MMU with a degree in Contemporary Theatre and Performance in 2015, she has been establishing myself as a stand up comedian on the northern circuit along side being involved in exciting theatre projects with Manchester’s Contact Young Company. She is excited to be at the start of her journey as a solo theatre maker and can’t wait to see what the future will bring!

 

Ashleigh Owen (pictured above)

Ashleigh trained at National Youth Music Theatre, London Metropolitan University and John Moors University. Her professional credits include the International Shakespeare Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2011 she toured an adaptation of Eugene Ionescco’sThe Bald Prima Donna, which she directed and played the role of Mrs. Smith. In 2013 she won Hamburger Queen, which was a highlight of London’s alternative cabaret scene, produced by artist Scottee. She has since performed alongside Scottee at Bestival, The Shoreditch Town Hall and The Royal Festival Hall. Her most recent work The Rise And Fall Of The Hamburger Queen was a quasi-autobiographical, comedy cabaret show supported by Homotopia and performed at Unity Theatre.  

 

Emma Geraghty

Emma Geraghty is a Manchester based writer, singer, and theatre-maker. She co-founded political theatre company Powder Keg, is attempting to write a book about historical queer theatre, and assistant directed an interactive feminist science show for children. Her work looks at the impact of being a fat queer feminist woman and refusing to shut up about it. She’s good at bad puns, collecting lots of books, and overreacting to minor inconveniences.

 

Josh Gardner

Josh Gardner is a messy sort of story teller working between live art and theatre. His work is politically and socially engaged, using performance as a means of conducting research in the public sphere. Josh has devised 3 solo shows at venues in London, Edinburgh and Brighton. His first show It’s All About George (2014) was a sell out success at the Edinburgh Fringe, described as an ‘enthralling shotgun volley of interesting ideas’ by the Scotsman and ‘highly recommended’ by Fringe Review.

Foot In The Door 2018: Call for artists

Foot In The Door is an initiative proposed by Making Room in collaboration with Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University to support talent development in interdisciplinary theatre, performance and live art practice in the North West. In 2018, Foot In The Door is being generously supported and delivered in collaboration with hÅb/Word of Warning.

We are now looking for 5 artists to participate in a weeklong residency programme culminating in a sharing of scratch performances at Lancaster’s Nuffield Theatre alongside guest appearances from previous participants in the scheme including James Monaghan.

Foot In The Door is intended both as a creative challenge & springboard for early career artists.

Between 12th – 16th February 2018, the participants will be given time, space and a budget to begin developing new pieces. The scheme will also see those artists take part in a series of workshops led by established practitioners including The Bare Project and Mary Pearson – covering a range of topics from arts and activism to fundraising.

As well as the formal elements of the programme, we expect that Foot In The Door will create a fruitful collaborative environment for the artists to envisage their practice and career going forward. This will also be facilitated through mentoring sessions with Making Room Artistic Directors & Lancaster Arts staff beyond the scheme itself.

Previous participants have gone on to develop successful performances, which have gone on tour and be supported by venues and festivals nationally. 2017 participants Tin Can People will be presenting their piece The Katie & Pip project on the Friday preceding the scheme. Applicants are invited and encouraged to join us for the performance and the post-show discussion.

 

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, please send the following information on no more than one side of A4 to hello@making-room.co.uk

 

Your name, email address, telephone number, and where you are based

– A statement about you & your work so far

– A description (no more than one side of A4) of the idea you would like to explore during your residency. Please note you will be expected to share up to 5 minutes of this idea with the group on the first day of the programme

– Why you are interested in this particular opportunity

– How you anticipate participating in this scheme will support your practice and its ongoing development

– Up to three links to examples of your work to date (e.g. video trailers etc.)

Confirmation of your availability to participate in the programme (12 – 16th February, full days plus evening activities).

If you are selected to take part, you will be invited as our guest to attend Tin Can People’s The Katie and Pip Project, on Friday 9 February. Please let us know if you are able to attend.

 

KEY FACTS

The deadline for applications is 23:59, Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Each artist will receive a £400* £200 bursary to cover the costs of their participation in the project, and self-catering accommodation will be provided. Limited additional budgets for travel, materials and equipment will be made available where necessary.

You will be notified of the outcome of your application no later than 29th January 2018

The programme begins on 12th February 2018 and ends on 16th February 2018

We would prefer for each artist to participate in the programme for its full duration, however we understand that this may not be possible. Please state clearly in your application when you may need time away from the programme and we will be in touch with you to discuss should your application be successful.

If you have any questions about the project you can email leo@making-room.co.uk or call us on 01524 594165.

 

update 11/01/2018

We are pleased to be welcoming a new partner, hÅb/Word of Warning to support this activity with us. Thanks to their generous participation, we have been able to increase the offered bursary to £400. We trust that as well as enabling participants to develop bolder ideas, this will also broaden the pool of people who may access this opportunity and we look forward to reading applications from a diverse range of candidates.

Seeking Experienced Creative Producer

 

Ali Matthews & Leo Burtin are looking for a Creative Producer to assist in the development and delivery of current and future artistic projects, as well as supporting the strategic growth of their collaboration.

The role of the Creative Producer will be to support the day-to-day management of our artistic projects, be proactive in seeking out and developing opportunities our artistic and strategic development (including working internationally), and be prepared to engage with our playful and inquisitive creative process. Join the party!

For further information and how to apply information please download the Matthews + Burtin- Creative Producer job pack.

Please send a CV and covering letter to jobs@making-room.co.uk by 12 noon on the 19th of June, 2017. Interviews will be held in person (preferably) in Manchester or via Skype on the 23rd or 26th of June.

Foot In The Door – Call Out for artists

Foot In The Door is an initiative proposed by Making Room in collaboration with Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University to support talent development in theatre, performance and live art in the Northwest. This project is supported using public funding from Arts Council England.

We are now looking for 3 x artists to participate in a weeklong residency programme culminating in a sharing of works in progress performances at Lancaster’s Nuffield Theatre alongside Paper People Theatre’s performance of Do Geese See God? and an early showing of supported graduate company Theatre 42’s second ever piece.

Foot In The Door is intended both as a creative challenge & springboard for early career artists. Between 16th – 23rd February 2017, the participants will be given time, space and a budget to begin making new works, or develop pieces which have not yet had public performances. The scheme will also see those artists take part in a series of workshops led by established practitioners including Andy Smith, Ali Matthews and Jenny Gaskell – covering a range of topics from performance writing & dramaturgy to fundraising.

As well as the formal elements of the programme, we expect that Foot In The Door will create a fruitful collaborative environment for the artists to envisage their practice & career going forward. This will also be facilitated through mentoring sessions with Making Room Artistic Directors & Lancaster Arts Creative Producing Team beyond the scheme itself.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, please send the following information on no more than one side of A4 to hello@making-room.co.uk.

  • Your name, email address, telephone number, and where you are based
  • A statement about you & your work so far
  • Why you are interested in this particular opportunity
  • How you anticipate participating in this scheme will support your practice and its ongoing development
  • Up to three links to examples of your work to date (e.g. video trailers etc.)
  • Confirmation of your availability to participate in the programme

KEY FACTS

  • The deadline for applications is 12noon, Thursday 2nd February 2017
  • Each artist will receive a £500 payment to cover the costs of their full participation in the project. Limited additional budgets for travel, accommodation, materials and equipment will be made available where necessary.
  • You will be notified of the outcome of your application no later than 6th February 2017
  • The programme begins on 16th February 2017 and ends on 23rd February 2017
  • We would prefer for each artist to participate in the full programme for its full duration, however we understand that this may not be possible. Please state clearly in your application when you may need time away from the programme and we will be in touch with you to discuss should your application be successful.

If you have any questions about the project you can email leo@making-room.co.uk or call us on 01524 593405.

We look forward to hearing from you,

 

Alice Booth, Leo Burtin & Jake Orr

On behalf of

Lancaster Arts & Making Room

Seeking Ambassador for Edinburgh Fringe

During this Summer’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe (5th – 29th August), Making Room are offering a professional development opportunity to an early-career creative producer/artist.

We would like to offer an individual an all inclusive bursary of £250 to shadow & support Making Room Artistic Directors Jake Orr & Leo Burtin for the duration of the festival and support their varied portfolio of activity in Edinburgh which includes:

  • Producing Bricking It by Joanna & Pat Griffin & BLUSH by Snuff Box Theatre at Underbelly
  • Engaging with artists and companies whose work may be suited to Incoming or Hear Me Roar Festival
  • Free advisory sessions to artists & companies participating in the Fringe from co-Directors
  • Actively engaging with relevant industry events such as Producers Gatherings etc.

What you will receive:

  • A £250 cash bursary, paid upon receipt of a valid invoice
  • A weekly mentoring/coaching session
  • A venue pass for Underbelly and other benefits associated with being a company member
  • Complimentary tickets to any shows or events you attend on behalf of Making Room

What will be expected of you:

  • To act as an ambassador for Making Room, its work and the artists it represents
  • To distribute publicity materials for our shows for at least one hour per day
  • To make the most of your mentoring sessions, be proactive in asking for advice, support and networking opportunities suited to your professional development aims

Who we are looking for:

  • You will be an early career theatre professional, graduate or student with a passion for the arts and a commitment to your own professional development
  • You are enthusiastic, self motivated and you recognise yourself in Making Room’s commitment to making a difference to society through art & culture and its values.
  • You already have plans to be based in Edinburgh 5th – 29th August

How to apply:

Please send a C.V. (2 pages max) and a short statement (300 words) outlining how you would benefit from this opportunity and what your professional ambitions are to hello@making-room.co.uk by 12Midnight Sunday 19th June.

Download a PDF version of this opportunity

Reflecting on the ‘Hear Me Roar’ Feminist Arts Festival Lancaster March 2016

A response to Hear Me Roar festival from Gerry Harris

Drama Queens Review

I am writing this post on ‘Hear Me Roar: Ages, Stages, Phases’ from a double perspective.

Through one lens I see it as someone who was part of the team involved in organising this feminist arts festival (with most of the hard work being undertaken by unflagging, (very) creative producer, Leo Burtin.)

Through the other I see it as a member of the audience who did not manage to attend all the workshops, film screenings, talks and the Queer Boots dance night- but who did attend many of these and all of the  performances, which are my focus in this review.

Looking through both lenses at the same time, it seems to me that this festival didn’t do too badly in terms of achieving the aims we set out. Yet as might have been predicted the five days journey through this event was far more surprising, more challenging (politically and…

View original post 2,088 more words

Hear Me Roar logo

Dear Man

Good morning,

For this week’s blog, as Hear Me Roar is the main thing on my mind at the moment, I thought I’d try something a little bit different, and share with you the letter I contributed to Becci Sharrock’s Letters to Myself project. I hope to see many of you in Lancaster 8th – 12th March!


 

Dear Man,

I realise that in starting my letter this way, you might think I am not addressing you directly.

You might think you’re still just a boy, or you might think I’m not all men… You might even wonder if this is addressed to you if you weren’t born in a male body.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you might be thinking… I am indeed addressing you. You, right there, reading this. Yes, you. Thank you for bearing with this.

For a long time, I wasn’t particularly aware of my gender. I was bobbing along being who I am, carrying with me all the bits of identity that have built up over the years. All at once, I was carrying my social background, the religion I was raised with, my heritage, my age, my sexuality, my education and no doubt, many other things. Being a man was just a tiny, inconsequent piece of a multifarious thing called who I am.

For the most part, who I am, was almost always all about me. Sure, it had some relationship to other people in my life; family, friends, lovers, colleagues… but my starting point was always myself. I couldn’t see how who I was had any bearing on anyone else, in the grand scheme of things. Never mind society, or the world.

And that was fine. It worked. I was bobbing along being who I am, carrying with me all the bits of identity that have built up over the years.

Chances are, this resonates with you. Chances are, you’re bobbing along too. Chances are you are or have been thinking I can’t help being who I am…

And that’s fine. It works.

I have an invitation for you. I’d like to invite you to consider that you can choose who you are. Are you willing to try that on? Great, thank you.

Every day, I choose who I am. In every waking moment, I choose who I am. Whatever the circumstances, I choose who I am.

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am you, and you are me.

I am you, and you are me.

Remember, I mean you, really you, reading this.

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am playfulness, love, contribution

This gives me the opportunity to choose that I am creativity, serenity, equality

In choosing this, I begin to notice where it is missing. I begin to notice where I am missing.

And I can take responsibility… Not like a prime minister or a president, not like a superhero or a god… Just with what’s there, what’s on hand, what’s possible…

Whichever kind of man you are, whatever categories you might fit in, whichever bits of identity you’re carrying with you… notice what’s possible, choose who you are and stand your ground.

Being a man – whichever kind of man – comes with an undeniable privilege.

Will you choose to keep it to yourself? If you would do me the favour of trusting me for a moment, I would promise you that it will grow when you share it…

Yours, truly.