In Good Company announces the latest round of supported artists, including their £10,000 commission

In Good Company, the Midlands’ flagship professional, creative and business development programme for theatre makers, led by Derby Theatre, announces the latest round of supported artists, including their £10,000 commission.

Artist Support Fund

For 2020, the Artist Support Fund will provide a rolling programme of eight bursaries of £1,000, selecting four in January and four in June. We are thrilled to announce the following artists and companies who were nominated, and successful, in receiving one of the bursaries: theatre maker and storyteller Charis McRoberts with Little Fish; a female coming of age story exploring themes of identity and what it means to be both British and Irish. Sarah Kolawole, a spoken word artist and social worker with Rootless Island Baby, bilingual theatre maker Tina Hofman with Lucid Interval, a cross art piece examining shock after a sudden loss and Nikki Charlesworth a theatre designer and puppeteer with her piece What Happened to You; an autobiographical approach involving her own experience of growing up with Cerebral Palsy whilst challenging the laws of traditional puppetry reflecting this by making them move in a way to show they have Cerebral Palsy.

These four artists join a pool of eight artists, who developed projects in 2019, including Next Door Dance, Sheep Soup, Lewis Doherty, Meander Theatre, Simon Marshall, Ditto Theatre Company, Bethany Kapila and Madeline Gould.  The Artist Support Fund recipients have undertaken residences in In Good Company Partner Venues, worked with community groups, care homes and youth groups, that the respective IGC venues engage with, and in some cases, have been programmed by them too, highlighting how the region is pulling together to raise a generation of artists.

The Artist Support Fund is open all year round, with reviewing windows in January and June each year. The next deadline for this is the Friday 10 June 2020.

Mid-Career Commission

We’ve kicked off the new decade with the biggest up lift in commissioning funds since the programme began. The Mid-Career Commissioning includes a £10,000 commission fee, rehearsal space, a week of preview performances at Nonsuch Studios to a series of school audiences and a world premier at Departure Lounge in July at Derby Theatre.

We’re delighted to announce the commissioned company is Unanima Theatre with their show State of Independence. Unanima is a professionally led company of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use theatre to explore themes relevant to all. State of Independence explores the lived experience of neurodivergent people and taboo subjects in a way that is at once a metaphorical ‘slap in the face’ then a warm hug that whispers to you to understand and take action.

Previous commissions have included Dante or Die’s User Not Found and Ad Infinitum’s Extraordinary Wall of Silence.

Tracy Radford Creative Producer of Unanima said:  ‘All company members have worked so hard to get to this point. This commission is a big deal for Unanima: as a company whose cast is exclusively intellectually disabled and neurodivergent, it sends a clear signal that the voices of, and work co-produced by this community are valued within the arts and need to be out there. We are so excited that is a product of Mansfield and we can showcase the talent and creativity that we know exists here to the world.’

Ben Anderson (In Good Company Creative Producer) said: ‘It’s great to see that through In Good Company artists at all stages of their careers are able to access support whether they are very early career and need the space to take risks or at that tricky spotty teenage stage where they need significant resource to reach their full potential. It’s incredible to see how artists build their projects through relationships with the different venues and how In Good Company advocacy unlocks new potential and we’re pulling together as a region to raise a new generation of artists and theatre makers.’

For all In Good Company opportunities we publish Statements on Selection explaining our decision making processes and what we have to consider. You can read both of these here.

The Mid-Career Commission is delivered by In Good Company in association with Derby Theatre, Attenborough Arts Centre, Nonsuch Studios, supported using public funding by Arts Council England.