ARC Stockton Arts Centre

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Routes North

Routes North is a partnership initiative between ARC, Stockton; The Lowry, Salford and Theatre in the Mill, Bradford to help make theatre happen in the North of England. All three of the partner venues are heavily committed to artist development, and came together in 2012 to offer a package of support to help enable one artist/company to make and tour a new piece of work.

The scheme has previously supported:

• 154 Collective - Dancing with the Orange Dog (2012-13)
• Geddes Loom - Prelude to a Number (2013-14)
• Soroush – My Brother’s Country (2014-15)

Thank you so much for the opportunity Routes North gave us to make Orange Dog. There is no way we would have been able to get the project/idea off the ground without the venues support.” Dan Mallaghan, 154 Collective

Developing our first show through the Routes North commission was a great experience, one that was essential to the creation of the piece and hugely beneficial to our work as a company as a whole. The support we were given, not only technically and administratively but creatively from the three venues was overwhelming, and it would have been an entirely different, and less accomplished, show without it.”
Ben Mellor, Geddes Loom

Each year, the initiative supports an emerging professional artist or company to make a new piece of work. The venues provide rehearsal space along with performance dates in each of the venues, plus advice, support and guidance throughout the production process.

We look for work that is contemporary and relevant, that meets the challenges of theatre in the 21st Century and offers elements of innovation and originality. Whilst the performance should be designed for theatre spaces, we are open to ideas that break down the boundaries between art forms.

The package includes two weeks rehearsal space in each of the venues, which in addition to providing time and space to make the work, provides an opportunity to build a relationship with venue staff and audiences.

Who can apply?

This opportunity is open to anyone, but we encourage applications from artists and companies based in the North region. You should have experience of producing at least one show.

What about funding?

Routes North offers in kind support only. However, we support you to fundraise to finance your show, and have set timescales to allow time for this to happen. The selected company will be informed by the end of May, providing a seventh-month period for fundraising before the realisation of the show begins in January of the following year.

Box office monies are split with the artist/company 70:30 in their favour. Ticket prices are agreed with each venue, with an allocation of complimentary tickets for both companies/venues for press and ‘showcasing’ purposes.

What does the support package include?

• Six weeks rehearsal space – approx two weeks in each venue
• Six performances, two in each venue
• Regular contact with venue representatives to offer advice/support. Venue staff are also available to attend rehearsals/sharings/work in progress to give feedback.
• Marketing support – extensive support available to develop a professional marketing pack, to assist with selling work to other venues and to audiences. The company is responsible for producing leaflets/posters, but venues support via distribution, press, direct email, website and online listings etc.
• Audience development – where appropriate, venues work with the artist/company to develop creative learning and other audience development activity associated with the show.
• Technical support – venues provide a technician for the get in/performance days (but not during rehearsal period); technical advice is also available including support to draw up technical specifications for the show.
• Box Office – full box office services available at all three venues to manage ticket sales and audience data collection.
• Advocacy and PR – as the selected artist/company for this project, all three venues act as ambassadors for the work, both in the lead up to the performances, and post-performance in terms of recommendations to potential touring venues etc.

How to apply

Routes North is advertised in the spring, with selection made by the end of May each year. The rehearsal/production period runs from January - February.

Information on how to apply for Routes North 2016 can be found here.