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Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap website text
Sept 2018

Bridging the Gap was a project developed by ARC, originally in conjunction with Newcastle Theatre Royal and The Maltings, designed to contribute towards the creation and presentation of new theatre work within the North East region.

The venues worked together to offer a joint package of in-kind support to enable North East based artists/theatre companies to develop and present new pieces of work across the venues. Over the years the scheme expanded to include other North East venues, and in 2018, it expanded to Yorkshire taking in York Theatre Royal.

To date Bridging the Gap has supported:

• Rabbit Damage: Wherever I Lay My Hat (2010)
• INK Productions: Wanting for Anghus (2011)
• Daniel Bye: Ash or How to Occupy an Oil Rig (2012)
• Black Coffee Theatre: Found  (2013)
• Amy Mackelden: Retail (2013)
• Encounter Productions: Choir (2014)
• Northern Nomads: Butterfly (2014)
• Camisado Club: You, Me and Everything Else (2015)
• Zoe Murtagh: The Lamppost Petition (2016)
• The Six Twenty: FANS (2016)
• SBC Theatre: Where We Began (2017-18)

The scheme is managed by ARC Stockton and now includes Arts Centre Washington, Gala Theatre, Harrogate Theatre, Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Sunderland Culture, The Maltings in Berwick, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, York Theatre Royal and The Witham in Barnard Castle.

As the theatre ecology in the North East and beyond has developed, it has become easier for artists to access support in kind – but harder to get their work programmed. In recognition of this, we are shifting the emphasis away from supporting the creation of the work, and focussing on the opportunities Bridging the Gap offers to artists and companies to present their work.

From 2019, Bridging the Gap will become ‘Bridging the Gap on Tour’ offering two ready-made three week tours around the partner venues.

In addition to performance dates, a tailored package of support in kind will be developed with the selected artists/companies, based on what they need and what the venues can offer. This may include:

• R&D space
• Opportunities to share work in progress with an invited and/or public audience
• Rehearsal space
• Production week at ARC (Tour A only)
• Regular meetings with ARC as the project manager, and other venue representatives to offer advice/support, including guidance around funding applications
• Support to develop marketing and audience development plans
• Technical support for the performance days

Box office monies will be split with the companies 70:30 in their favour. Ticket prices will be agreed across all venues, with an allocation of complimentary tickets for both companies and venues for press and ‘showcasing’ purposes.

For programmers, Bridging the Gap on Tour provides an opportunity to be ‘active’ programmers, to influence the work that is available for our audiences, and to enter into a dialogue with artists/companies at the earliest stage about what the audience experience will be. By being closer to the work from the outset, venues are in a better position to attract audiences.

We are looking for artists/companies committed to making contemporary theatre – this may be devised work or new writing, or work that explores the boundaries of theatrical form.

Applications must be to present brand new work, ie shows that will not have been presented elsewhere prior to this tour, suitable for studios and small theatre spaces.

This scheme is open to professional artists and companies based in Yorkshire or the North East regions (as defined by Arts Council England). Artists/companies can be at any stage of their career but must have experience of producing at least one show.

Companies that are members of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio are not eligible to apply.

For more information about the partner venues please visit;;;;;;;;; and

Bridging the Gap is advertised in autumn, with selection made by the end of October each year. The rehearsal/production period runs from October to the following September.

Details of how to apply will be displayed here when the scheme is open for applications.