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Oday Alkalhidi, WalesLab, supported by Esmee Fairbairn Image: Jorge Lizalde

National Theatre Wales launches its biggest ever talent development programme

16 October 2017

National Theatre Wales – the country’s English-language national theatre company – is today launching a brand new Creative Development programme, the biggest the company has ever undertaken.

The new Creative Development programme aims to support and develop artists, small companies and new work in Wales, with a comprehensive series of activities; some inspired by previous successes, and several new ideas borne of the company’s research among artists. The Creative Development programme is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and two of the strands by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

There are six strands to the programme:

Located Residencies give emerging and mid-career artists and companies a chance to spend research and development time exploring new ideas for performance, but focusing on their own practice, in residencies embedded in a location or community. The company are particularly interested in hearing from artists who are interested in working in north east Wales or west Wales, BAME artists and those with additional needs. Located Residencies are supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Professional Development Labs are aimed at emerging to mid-career artists working in a range of artforms, keen to work and develop ideas with other artists. Together, they will conceive, apply for and deliver an intensive development period of their own. The company are especially keen to attract artists living in rural areas, who sometimes rely on informal networks to stay connected.

NTW Camps, inspired by the company’s successful Summercamps, are for adventurous artists who want to try something new with other artists, often from other disciplines. NTW Camps will be intensive residencies for a select group of artists from a range of artistic and cultural backgrounds, including international participants. In each camp, the focus and location of the residency will be different.

Huddles will allow independent artists in Wales to come together, with artists from further afield, partner organisations and staff from NTW, to skill-swap, share ideas and to gain insights and knowledge into the ways others make work. There will be four Huddles each year, in the form of presentations or talks, seminars or practical workshops.

Emerging Producers is an opportunity for producers with limited professional experience to develop their skills. Two Emerging Producers will be selected each year to work on a range of projects and receive one-to-one mentoring, all with a focus on supporting the process-led development of new work. In its first year, the Emerging Producers programme is supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Emerging Directors is, likewise, for those who have little or no previous professional directing experience, but who are keen to give it a try. The Emerging Director position is an opportunity for artists to work closely with more experienced directors, gaining close-up experience of their practice and inside knowledge of the creative processes that go into making one of NTW’s main productions.

As well as these six strands, NTW’s Creative Development programme also includes the ongoing development of new work for its own programme, through Commissioning and Research & Development. The company will continue to work with and support writers by providing a network of experienced dramaturgs to help them develop their work and new writing in Wales. And it will also continue to support artists interested in working with the company to conduct research and development of their work.

Simon Coates, National Theatre Wales’ Head of Creative Development, said: “I’m delighted to be able to finally announce the plans we have for Creative Development at National Theatre Wales. Through these new initiatives, I’m looking forward to supporting even more inspiring artists to develop exceptional projects up and down the country.”

Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, said: “The development of talent is the lifeblood for a thriving theatre ecology in Wales, and we’re delighted to play our part in supporting and nurturing artists the length and breadth of the country to become bolder and more imaginative, more playful and engaged.”

Any artists who are from or live in Wales – no matter at what stage of their careers – who are interested in exploring Creative Development opportunities at National Theatre Wales, are invited to visit the company’s website at nationaltheatrewales.org/creative-development or contact Simon Coates, Head of Creative Development, on 029 2035 3070 or simoncoates@nationaltheatrewales.org for more information.