Open Pitch is an opportunity for us to meet and connect with theatre makers of all kinds from across the Midlands who are invited to tell us an idea they have for rural touring or a rural theatre performance.
Why are New Perspectives doing this?
As the title suggests we are doing this to be open to new ideas and new artists to help us with our mission to bring great and dynamic art to rural communities. We used to run a playwriting competition called Long Play but we realised that we were potentially excluding the many artists across the region that make theatre in different ways.
What do you mean by rural theatre?
A majority of New Perspectives work is packed into a van and performed for single nights in village halls across the country. Rural villages can look very different from one another; some are sparse and remote while others are bustling and suburban. Ultimately we are looking for ideas for performances that could take place in non-city locations, which could be village halls or somewhere site-specific.
What sort of ideas are you looking for?
We have no preconceptions as to what we are looking for, other than something that could be exciting as a piece of rural theatre. We want to hear an idea you feel passionate about, that you think could really work in a rural environment and that you would also be able to realise with support.
Do I have to have a specific rural environment in mind for my idea?
No. You do not have to have a specific location in mind for your idea. But if you want to present an idea for a site specific performance, you may want to specify its ideal location.
I am a playwright. Can I submit a pitch?
Yes. However, we are looking for production ideas rather than simply something on paper. Rather than simply tell us the story of your script we would be keen to know how it would be done and with whom.
I am an actor. Can I submit a pitch?
Yes, but you (or your collaborators) will have to able to feasibly realise the project with our support.
Does it make a difference whether I am known or unknown to the company?
No. We welcome applications from artists and companies that we do not know. If you are an artist or company that we do know, you are equally welcome to apply. Pitches will be selected on the strength of their ideas rather than our knowledge of the artist or company's work.
How developed does my idea have to be?
We recommend that you think your idea through thoroughly before submitting, as it will have to stand out against many others. We do not expect you to have come up with solutions for everything practically (budgets, dates, creative team) but you do need to be in a position to answer questions about your idea from the panel.
Can I submit an idea for something I have already staged?
We are principally looking for new ideas but if you wish to submit an existing project you would have to clearly demonstrate why restaging it in this specific context would be a worthwhile proposition.
I have an idea rooted in another art form (dance, film, spoken word). Can I still apply?
We welcome proposals that combine art forms, but there needs to be a strong sense of the theatrical at the heart of the idea.
Where will the pitches take place?
If you are invited to pitch it will take place at New Perspectives, Park Lane Business Centre, Park Lane, Basford, and Nottingham NG6 0DW. There is limited parking available outside the office but plenty of on street parking outside of the business park. Bus and tram stops involve a short walk: the nearest tram stop is David Lane; or you can take a No. 17 bus from Nottingham City Centre alighting at the Gorse Court stop.
Will the pitching environment be wheelchair accessible?
Yes. We will hold the pitches in our rehearsal room which is on the ground floor of our office. There is also an accessible toilet on the ground floor level and some limited parking outside. If you wish to reserve a parking space for a wheelchair user or have any other access needs please get in touch with [email protected]
Will everyone who submits an idea be invited to pitch?
Unfortunately we will be unable to invite every application to pitch to us. We will review each written application thoroughly and will invite a shortlist of applicants to pitch on Friday 23rd March.
If I get through who will I be pitching to?
There will be a small panel of people who will listen to the pitches together. They will be: François Matarasso (writer, researcher and champion of rural and participatory arts), Susan Rowe (New Perspectives Trustee and former Village Hall promoter), alongside New Perspectives' Jack McNamara (Artistic Director), Sally Anne Tye (Executive Director) and Jayne Williams (Participation Director).
What if I am not a confident speaker?
The pitching environment will be very relaxed and supportive. We are not here to judge your charisma or skills of presentation, we are just excited to hear your ideas. We anticipate that most people will offer a short verbal presentation but please let us know if you would feel more comfortable talking to us about it in a different way.
What shall I prepare or bring?
For most pitches we ask only that you bring yourself or members of your team and give us a short verbal presentation. If you wish to bring any additional supporting material (images, sound, performance) you may do so, but there is no obligation to.
How many pitches will be chosen for development?
We anticipate offering up to three pitches some development time, though this may be less depending on the pitches that are presented. Of these three pitches one will be chosen to be taken further.
What will happen to the chosen pitch?
It will depend on the nature of the project and what it requires to be realised, but our hope is that it will be fully produced as part of our 2019 -20 programme.
Any other advice?
Be bold and clear with your ideas, but also give good thought as to how they could be realised with the support of a modestly sized theatre company in a rural environment. We are not looking for someone to simply drop an idea on the table for us to work out how to achieve. We are looking for a dynamic collaborator to help with our mission to bring exciting new theatre into the rural world.
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