Although stages across the UK remain in darkness, Paperwork Theatre are encouraging theatre makers to keep generating bold, new ideas by investing in homegrown new work as part of Teacup Commissions, part of their Artist Opportunities Scheme.
Teacup Commissions are a micro fund to support the development of new work by theatre makers; we encourage people to donate the price of a cuppa and every time the cup is full, local theatre makers can pitch to win it. Launched in January 2020, the scheme has raised over £700 so far and supported 6 North West theatre-makers to kick start new creative projects.
The scheme has been so popular in 2020, the micro fund has been raised to £200. The Paperwork team believes in sharing knowledge, developing skills and demystifying the industry for North West creatives to forge a stronger creative community, support artistic development and the wellbeing of artists. The company launched its Artist Opportunities Scheme in 2018, it is free for artists to attend and supported by Comic Relief Project Grants. Alongside the commission offer monthly Playdates- skills development workshops and masterclasses from nationally renowned practitioners and Script Surgery, which offer playwrights one-to-one dramaturgical advice on new writing for stage, in association with the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres New Works department.
When the UK first went into lockdown in March last year, Paperwork decided to move Artist Opportunities online to give the North West creative community a bit of a boost – the scheme was a chance for artists to keep the creative juices flowing and crucially, to connect with one another at a time when they were apart. But almost a year later and Paperwork’s Teacup Commissions have become a tangible way to enable theatre-makers to continue practising their craft as well as sending out the message that they are viable.
Paperwork Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director, Hayley Greggs explains “The pandemic has hit the arts sector and freelance artists hard. We’re noticing that many talented, local creatives are facing unemployment and moving into alternative sectors to survive. We hope that this scheme will support artists to continue working creatively, either by using the cash to support a funding bid or buy that artist a couple of hours to work on a creative project. We want to send out the message that artists are viable, and we want to support them to continue practising their craft during these uncertain times.”
The company is now accepting applications for Round 6. Applying is simple. Applicants are asked to upload a 1-minute pitch of you talking about your project by Thursday 11th February. But first, head to the Paperwork website to check you’re eligible.
The team will shortlist 3 finalists then put them to an online vote which will close Sunday 14th February. You can find out more on the company’s website: www.paperworktheatre.co.uk