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New Perspectives Announces New Associates For 2022/23

The year-long professional development programme will support 14 artists from multiple disciplines.

Each year, award-winning touring company New Perspectives support a group of early career artists from the East Midlands through a year-long development programme from their Nottingham base.

In 2022, New Perspectives will welcome Imogen Beech, Amy Crighton, Kate Spencer, Jack Burrows, Abigail Pidgeon, Lisa February, Dan Scott, John Booker, Joe Strickland, Emma-Louise Howell, Laurie Owen, Stacey Moon-Tracy, Tionee Joseph and Bridie Squires as their New Associates following open applications.

This year's cohort are drawn from across the East Midlands' region from Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, NE Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire. The New Associates include Kate Spencer who has appeared for two years as Coronation Street regular Grace Vickers, and Bush Theatre's Literary Assistant Amy Crighton, demonstrating the breadth of creative skills from artists to workshop leaders, dramaturgy to digital artist, spoken word artist to teacher.

This opportunity is open to all artists and practitioners working in theatre and live performance, based or working in the East Midlands region. Previous New Associates have included playwright Naomi Obeng, shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Playwriting and currently part of ETT Playwriting programme Nationwide Voices; Actor Anna-Kate Golding who has recently wrapped on the feature film The Colour Room opposite David Morrisey with recent stage credits including Extra Time at Derby Theatre. Director Callum Berridge who co-assisted Rob Hastie & Anthony Lau on the Crucible's 2021 production of Chris Bush's The Band Plays On; Ravelle-Sadé Fairman Nottingham based Performance poet who has gone on to join the company longer term with her appointment to New Perspectives Board of Trustees.

Over the course the programme, associates will work closely with the New Perspectives team to develop their work, learn from New Perspectives' expertise and gain valuable insights into their leadership and governance. The shape of the programme will vary depending on the requirement of each artist. The company's aim, through a blend of in person and online sessions, is to offer the specific support early career artists need to take a crucial next step.

Angharad Jones, Artistic Director and CEO, said, "The New Associates programme provides bespoke practical training and knowledge exchange as well as fostering a collective peer network that nurtures longer term collaborations, networks and partnerships. Our 2022-23 cohort is brimming with talent and represents an exciting mix of artists across a range of disciplines. It's clear from the unprecedented volume of brilliant applications we received that the future of talent in the region is bright; it is up to organisations with the resources and skills to ensure everyone has the opportunity to reach their maximum potential"

Opportunities made available over the year include:

- masterclasses, skills sessions and professional development opportunities

- invitations to company rehearsals, readings, workshops and participatory events

- tailored support on a particular project or skill-set including, where appropriate, rehearsal space, mentoring, dramaturgical support, marketing, funding and touring advice

- access to staff and board expertise and networks

- opportunities to observe board meetings, and take part in planning sessions to act as a sounding board for new ideas

- possibilities to collaborate with other New Associates as creative peers

New Perspectives is an East Midlands based company with nearly 50 years' experience of touring high-quality productions to venues of all sizes across the UK, from mid-scale theatres to village halls. With a strong rural core, they create productions to fit spaces of any size in order to bring new work that is unexpected and thought-provoking to a wide range of audiences. In 2021, Angharad Jones was appointed as their Artistic Director/CEO. Through the pandemic their series PlacePrints, ranked the UK's 25th most popular fiction podcast (2020) is currently available. Other recent productions have included the internationally successful postcard drama Love From Cleethorpes which reached over 2,400 letterboxes and the release of the Audiobook Voice of The Fire by Alan Moore, marking the 25th anniversary of the Northampton-set book. In November 2021 Angharad Jones directed a sell-out script-in-hand reading of Olivier Award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood's new play MARYLAND, with kind permission from The Royal Court, also marking the first live post pandemic performance for Nottingham's Non Such Studios.

New Associates

Imogen Beech

Imogen is an East Midlands-based Director. She loves playful, clear and imaginative storytelling and is particularly interested in exploring how theatre can be used to promote empathy between people from all walks of life. Imogen is currently working as Elle While's Associate Director on a new ensemble adaptation of Private Peaceful at the Nottingham Playhouse and UK tour. She has also worked regularly as David Thacker's Assistant Director at the Octagon Theatre Bolton.

Imogen's directing credits include The Censor (The Hope Theatre); Mirror Me (Greenwich Theatre, Broadway Barking, Pleasance Edinburgh, Pickled Pepper Books) and The Turn of the Screw (Assembly Festival Edinburgh, Lion and Unicorn Theatre). She also enjoyed directed a group of military veterans in Shakespeare's Richard III with the Combat Veteran Players, in collaboration with the RSC's Open Stages programme (Swan Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre).

John Booker

John is a writer & actor trained at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, currently based in Derby. His playwrighting practice blend's themes of John's background and heritage. Being from a working-class background and of mixed white & black Caribbean heritage, he bases a lot of my work on experiences that come with being a person of colour in this social stratum. As an artist, John likes to explore the class system within the UK and problems this inequity causes in society, through the eyes of someone that is mixed race.

His play Bwoy Dem won last year's Take off prize with In Good Company. The prize included a winner's fee and a two-week R&D at The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton & Nottingham Playhouse. Most recently he worked as an actor and writer for Derby Theatre in the play Extra Time directed by Sarah Brigham.

Jack Burrows

Jack Burrows is an Ashfield based Theatre maker who is passionate about making work that opens conversations about how we can make change and exploring ways in which we can make theatre more accessible and inclusive to aid those who don't normally get a voice to join in those debates. He runs the Centre Stage Academy which supports young people in the Ashfield community to build confidence and social skills. Jack is currently working on We 'Ant Got Much a community play based on the memories (and starring members of) the Ashfield community, and 100 Days which explores mental health and encourages people to talk about their own.

Amy Crighton

Amy is a Midlands based freelance theatre director and dramaturg with a particular focus on developing new work in conjunction with writers, and an interest in working with new technologies. Amy spent 3 years at the Nottingham New Theatre whilst at the University of Nottingham where she worked as a director, actor, producer and stage manager, with one of her productions being selected to be part of the National Student Drama Festival 2019.

Since then, she has worked with companies such as Sheffield Theatres, the Royal Exchange and the Young Vic, and is currently the Literary Assistant at the Bush Theatre.

Lisa February

Over the past 4 years, Lisa has worked as a freelance creative practitioner in North East Lincolnshire. The majority of her work has been in educational and community environments, as a performer and workshop facilitator, spanning across multiple factions of the creative sector, from performance and spoken word, to videography and workshop facilitation. Lisa's interest is on how the arts can bring together communities, irrespective of previous experience or backgrounds.

At the end of 2020, Lisa and Matthew Gray (New Associate 2020) were successful in receiving Arts Council funding to develop the foundations of a theatre company, lowercase, and are currently working on its debut production, aspiring to professional multi-medium theatre, giving voice to Grimsby stories. They are also working to champion young creatives, demonstrating the viability of working in the arts locally, and creating spaces for networking and collaboration.

Emma-Louise Howell

Emma is a Writer, Director, and graduate of RADA and Birkbeck, where she was awarded the Michael Ross Prize for her debut play, Patterns. Now based in East Anglia, she has a commitment to reshaping and reframing rural stories, wanting to tell stories that are bold, unflinching and impossible to ignore.

After graduating, Emma received the Boundless Theatre Accelerator Bursary to develop new work with young farmers in Norfolk that explores the link between climate change and the agricultural industries. The project has since received funding from the British Council and La Teateria, in Mexico to develop conversations with climate activists and theatre-makers across the globe. Alongside working with communities, Emma is also creating new work for the Mercury Theatre, NSDF LAB and developing a TV Pilot. She is also a Young Mentor for the Young Vic, a programme designed to open up meaningful, intergenerational conversations with industry leaders and creatives committed to integrating the youth perspective in their practice.

Tionee Joseph

Tionee, has always been interested in the ways that stories are told. Her film, television and adaptation critical analysis articles were her first paid publications as a teenager. She found her writing voice through studying for an MA in Creative Writing, with a collection of personal poetry, song lyrics, short stories, monologues and novel extracts under her belt. The themes of Tionee's work include: relationships, feminism, mental health, culture, identity and social commentary. Tionee's next foray into theatre is revisiting a childhood dream. She enjoyed putting on performances for family members and watching the professionals in theatre shows. She wrote her first play Visions (2021) a romantic drama set during the 2020 lockdown and is hoping to develop this into a scratch performance.

Stacey Moon-Tracy

Stacey is a script writer and dramaturg with over sixteen years' experience of teaching Drama and directing performances in youth theatres, colleges and universities. She has also worked extensively as a participatory drama practitioner for various theatre companies and community groups and is now an associate lecturer in script writing at Coventry University and The University of Derby.

Stacey runs the Write On young writers group at The Mansfield Palace Theatre and is also the dramaturg on their annual Write Track programme. As a script writer, Stacey won an outstanding script writing award at Derby University, has been commissioned to write shorts and reached the long list for the 2019 Papa Tango prize with her play Burning Butterflies. Currently, Stacey is studying towards a PhD at Coventry University which explores the experiences of ICU Nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic through arts-based practice, where she intends to work creatively with nurses to develop a stage play.

Laurie Owen

Laurie trained in Theatre and Performance at The University of Leeds, and has been teaching and performing American-style improvisation for five years. He has eclectic creative tastes, and in the past has programmed games, designed sound, run a Dungeons and Dragons livestream, researched and hosted a podcast about British comedy history, written beginner's guides to piano improvisation, (for The Leeds International Piano Competition), alongside sometimes doing a bit of theatre for his degree. Laurie's most recent work, Some Other Mirror, tells the story of his decision to start testosterone hormone replacement therapy, and is expressed by way of a surreal videoconference, with alternate versions of himself.

Abigail Pidgeon

Abigail is an actor from Nottingham; she graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in September 2018 with an MA in Acting. Most recently, she starred alongside Vicky McClure in local film company Sirloin Films' Good Grief and in the summer of 2021, she played Dorothy in an immersive production of Oz at Rufford Abbey Country Park. Prior to training as an actor, Abigail worked as a secondary school Drama & English teacher. Working with young people is something she is extremely passionate about; she has experience in theatre in education and teaches performing arts when not in full time acting work. Abigail is currently writing a children's book entitled Shelly Must Make It Home; her goal is to adapt the book into a theatre piece that could be performed in local spaces and schools.

Dan Scott

Dan is a playwright and theatremaker from Nottingham (via Frankfurt, Germany). He studied Theatre at the University of Birmingham before training as a playwright on Bristol Old Vic Theatre School's MA in Drama Writing. He was awarded the Erika Neumann Prize for Significant Achievement for the work he produced there. Since graduating, Dan has been part of writers groups with Sharp Scratches and Taunton Brewhouse. His short play Sunburn was produced by Plays Rough London at the Old Red Lion Theatre and an extract of his play Waking Opportunity at Taunton Brewhouse.

Outside of writing, Dan has been a resident practitioner at Leighton Park School where he facilitated workshops and co-created work with students. He has also been a script reader for The Space Arts Centre and the London Playwrights Blog and taught workshops on the Story Circle writing technique at a number of education institutions.

Kate Spencer

Kate is a Nottinghamshire based actor, theatre maker, lecturer and coffee enthusiast, who trained at Rose Bruford College, London and Columbia College, Chicago.

Recent theatre credits include: Sky Comedy Rep (Birmingham Rep/Sky Studios), Writing Tomorrow's Theatre (Separate Doors), Captain Corelli's Mandolin (UK Tour and West End), Insulted. Belarus(sia) (Nonsuch Studios/New Perspectives), The Gingerbread Man (Jacksons Lane/Hiccup Theatre), Frost/Nixon (Crucible Theatre), The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Cornerstone Arts), Great Expectations (Derby Theatre), The Hunting of the Snark (Sherman Theatre/Hong Kong's Academy of Performing Arts). Recent television and audio credits include: Coronation Street (ITV: Regular), Assemble Here: Buttons (Theatre by the Lake), Snake Oil (Derby Theatre), Broken Instruments (Open Road Productions), Ivory Rise (Nothing To Declare productions), There's something among us... (Chronic Insanity), Doctors (BBC).

Bridie Squire

Bridie Squires is a writer and performance artist from Nottingham. Previously Editor of LeftLion Magazine, she was appointed as Nottingham Trent University's first Writer in Residence in 2019 and is Founder of GOBS Collective - a growing community of spoken-word artists. An alumnus of Mouthy Poets collective, Bridie has delivered performances in London's Southbank Centre, Karlsruhe's Staatstheatre, Nottingham Playhouse, and countless venues around her hometown. In 2019, Bridie was awarded funding from Arts Council England to develop her first full-length, one-person performance, Casino Zero. An audio drama of hers, Self-Checkout, is set to feature on BBC Sounds this year following Mardy - a BBC Radio 4 commission for Tongue and Talk: The Dialect Poets.

Joe Strickland

Joe Strickland is a theatre maker, digital producer, creative technologist, and access consultant. They are the Artistic Director of Chronic Insanity, the Digital Producer for DaDaFest, and a Trustee of SICK! Productions and The King's Hall Trust For The Arts. They were recently the Digital Producer for Puncture The Screen, Chronic Insanity's data driven art and performance festival, and the Venue Manager for Insanity Point, a Nottingham-based pop-up streaming venue for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run by Chronic Insanity and The Old Bus Depot.

They are an artist in development with the Nottingham Playhouse, a BBC New Creative, and a studio member with Near Now. They are a PhD researcher looking at Future Experience Technologies and Storytelling based at the University of Nottingham's Mixed Reality Lab, partnered with the Horizon CDT, University of Nottingham and the BBC. They specialise in using traditional theatre making techniques and applying them to entertainment technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as recreating physical presence using these technologies. They are also a multi-award winning magician and an accomplished musician.

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