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The Yard Announces New Programme To Support Artists

This is a four month paid opportunity for six artists to take part in workshops, masterclasses and to create new work.

The Yard Announces New Programme To Support Artists

The Yard Theatre's brand new programme, Live Lab, is a four month paid opportunity for six artists to take part in workshops, masterclasses and to create new work with a funded week-long research and development stage.

Reflecting how The Yard makes theatre, Live Lab broadens out the definition of 'directing' to any artist who leads a team of people making a show for an audience, whether they work with a writer and actors or not. The Lab is aimed at artists whose work and practice relates to these ideas and want to stretch, challenge and enrich their current creative practice.

The programme kicks off with three weeks of teaching from world renowned director Katie Mitchell following weekly masterclasses from theatre practitioners, leaders and artists including Tarik Elmoutawakil, Omar Elerian, Rachael Young, Bijan Sheibani, Nickie Miles-Wildin, Natalie Ibu, Richard Eyre and The Yard's Artistic Director, Jay Miller with more to be announced. The artists will also receive one on one mentorship and support from The Yard's associate directors Anthony Simpson-Pike and Cheryl Gallacher.

Alongside teaching, these six artists will receive a bursary of £1200, as well a week of research and development in April 2021,including a £500 fee, a budget of £1000, rehearsal space and the opportunity to share the results onstage at the Yard Theatre

This programme will create a vital space for a cohort of artists to strengthen their directorial voice, learn the necessary skills to lead a theatre show, with an emphasis on innovation, accessibility and artistic practice.

Live Lab is taking place in memory of Howard Davies CBE, one of the pillars of British theatre directing over the last 50 years. This programme takes inspiration from Howard's fierce determination, astounding work and his generous spirit towards all.

Director Katie Mitchell:

"I'm really looking forward to teaching on this programme. Now more than ever, it feels important to support and empower artists to develop strong signature work. I'm excited to meet the artists, hear their ideas, and support them in the evolution of their directing careers."

Applications for the programme have opened today.

The Yard is also announcing the appointment of two Associate Directors, Anthony Simpson-Pike and Cheryl Gallacher. They will work alongside Artistic Director Jay Miller to help grow The Yard's artist development programmes and create new work for The Yard across all of our programmes.

Both Anthony and Cheryl joined The Yard in Spring 2020 and have been playing a key role in The Yard's response to the pandemic through the Yard Online festival and the design of Live Lab and future programmes.

Associate Director Anthony Simpson-Pike:

"As The Yard prepares to turn 10 in unprecedented times, I'm joining at a moment of transition. Crises always cause transformation. And, more than ever, it is clear change is necessary to make our industry work for everyone. I'm passionate about working with the team to put care, innovation and representation at the centre of everything we do."

Associate Director Cheryl Gallacher:

"As we experience a second lockdown and uncertainty around the pandemic, The Yard's Live Lab aims to offer some hope: an opportunity to reimagine the future of theatre with a group of creative practitioners. I'm excited to support and work with the group as together we generate new and exciting ideas for the stage for a time when we can reach audiences again."

The Yard Theatre Artistic Director Jay Miller:

"We're so excited to launch Live Lab, especially at this critical moment for artists across our art form. To be able to create an opportunity for artists to develop their craft with some of the best in the business, along with a bursary and resource for research and development is very necessary

We're honoured to have the support of Howard Davies' family to deliver this programme. When I moved to London after I graduated, the first play I saw was Her Naked Skin in the Olivier, which was directed by Howard. I wrote to Howard for advice, and to my surprise he responded with invaluable words. From that point on, we'd sit down and Howard would ask me how I was getting on, and give me some pointers. He was so kind. This is a program inspired by those meetings, a sharing of skills and experience, in the hope those who take part develop their craft.

I'm also delighted to publicly announce Anthony and Cheryl's appointments as Associate Directors, and am thrilled about how they will contribute to the artistic life of The Yard."

This follows the announcement of funding through the Culture Recovery Fundfrom DCMS and Arts Council England, which The Yard will use to create new opportunities for freelance artists and creatives to create exciting new work, develop their artistic practice, as well as ensure that The Yard can fully and safely reopen later in 2021.

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