Guidelines for Artists
National Theatre Wales considers the nurturing and development of theatre artists in Wales to be one of its core goals, both as a means to achieve extraordinary new theatre productions, and for the sake of the wider development of Welsh theatre. We want to make it as easy as possible for all artists to establish contact with us and let us know about their work and ideas.
We want to focus our resources on activity that will have the most profound impact on theatre making. We want to be equally accessible to artists throughout Wales, and work in a way that supports and encourages other theatre organisations, particularly small and independent initiatives.
With that in mind, we have developed some guidelines to make it easy for you to let us know what you are working on, or hope to develop in the future.
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Artist: Jenny Cashmore
Imagery: Jorge Lizalde
Here is the summary:
- Join our online community
- Tell us you’ve joined
- Send us something
If you’d like to make an introduction to your work - send us whatever you think will represent your style best. Depending on the type of work you make, that might be: a script (we’d suggest up to twenty pages), a video excerpt or link to a portfolio of work somewhere online. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you would like to work on a new idea with National Theatre Wales send a summary of it in the format that suits you/the idea best to: email@example.com. You may also want to include examples of your previous writing/projects as above. Please let us know about your reasons for submitting to National Theatre Wales, and your relationship to or interest in Wales.
- Our company staff and regular collaborators will look at your work and get back to you.
- You may also want to invite us to see some of your work – give us some notice (we ask for a month to be safe) and we’ll do our best to be there.
For the full version please read on:
Let us know
1. Letting us know about you and your work:
Our online community is at the heart of our communication with artists. To let us know about your work, you should register at http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/ and create a profile for yourself. Try to create a profile that will help us learn about you and what you do. We do understand that some people are shy and that social networks are not for everyone, so we will accept a profile with name and basic details.
Please also join a group on the network corresponding to your interests, e.g. Writers, Creatives (including directors and designers); this will help us to keep in touch with you about relevant opportunities.
You can send samples of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a particular idea that you want to suggest to us, please make this clear in your initial message. We accept submissions from all artists, but we ask you to let us know about your reasons for submitting to National Theatre Wales, and your relationship to or interest in Wales. As an indication we’d suggest sending up to twenty pages of written material, a five-minute video excerpt or link to a portfolio of work somewhere online. We will always acknowledge your submission, usually within a week.
Please don’t send unsolicited scripts – partly because we don’t have the resources to read them all, but mainly because we’d be very unlikely to produce a pre-existing script by a writer we didn’t have a relationship with. If you’re a writer and want to send us your work please send us a sample excerpt of a script or scripts – if we want to read more we can contact you to ask for more information.
We’re also interested in receiving your ideas. If we were to develop a project with you it’s these we’d be working on – not something you’ve done before.
We understand that ideas are very valuable – the ideas are yours and will be treated as confidential and only discussed with NTW Staff, members of our TEAM Panel or artists with whom we regularly work. Submission of ideas can be in any format: written, video, audio, images – whatever you think the best way to communicate your ideas to us.
We are keen to hear from artists and creatives working in various artistic practices including designers of lighting, sound & set and digital creatives too.
2. What happens next?
Every six to eight weeks, we get together as a company and invite artists with whom we regularly work, as well as representatives of TEAM, to read over all the submissions we receive. We ask them to get back to us with their impression of the work. At this point one of the following may happen –
- We will be in touch to thank you for making contact and for introducing the company to you and your work. We may ask you to keep us informed of any opportunities to see your work live, so that we can come and see it and learn more about it – have a look at Section 4: Inviting us to see your work.
- If the panel feels the ideas might be of interest to the company they will be in touch with you about the next step – that might be a meeting to learn more about you and your work, a seed commission or research and development for example. Discussions at these meetings will always be confidential. We will review and discuss your work as quickly as possible and we will try our hardest to get back to you within four months.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to send you detailed feedback or a ‘script report’ because we don't have the resources at the company to manage this, and we’d rather develop a conversation with you about new work rather than something that has already been written.
3. What happens in the future?
If we don’t offer you an immediate opportunity to work with us, we may well be able to offer you an opportunity in the future. This could happen in a number of ways:
• If a project arises that looks like it might suit your skills and interests, we will invite you to meet with us to talk about it further.
• Our programme focus and priorities are always under development; so different artists will be appropriate to our work at different times. News of the company’s current interests and activity will be posted on the NTW website/social network.
4. Inviting us to see your work:
We want to encourage as much production of new work in Wales as possible; particularly by independent and emerging companies and artists. So, if your work is being produced, let us know and we will try our best to come and see it.
In fact, if it is being produced by an independent professional-level company (which could include a company that you have set up), it is taking place in Wales, and you let us know about it at least a month in advance, we promise to come and see it (barring unforeseen circumstances), or to send an artist we trust to see it on our behalf and report back. If the event is a public performance, please add it to our events section on the NTW community.
Once you’ve created the event, send Simon Coates a message on the community letting him know you’ve added the event and you’d like us to come. At our weekly team meetings we’ll look at the events we’ve been invited to and do our best to allocate them all to members of staff. The further in advance you do this the better, like you, we’re very busy and the more notice you give us the easier it will be for us to ensure we get to see your work. If you give us less than a months notice we might not be able to see your work.
Productions we have seen will be discussed at our Ideas Meetings. We consider this the best way to get to know you and your work. We also ‘attend’ online projects, particularly if you set them up, or publicise them, through our site. We consider online initiatives to be an important part of the wider theatre picture.
5. Who reviews your work:
NTW is committed to expert review of your work. However, we consider the company to comprise of all the artists and production staff who are working with us, not just salaried staff, so your work my be reviewed by qualified staff, by artists and producers who are currently collaborating with us on a project, by trusted artists and producers who have a record of work with us, or by qualified individuals such as NTW board members.
Performances are discussed at our Ideas Meetings, with follow up and second opinions sought wherever appropriate. All discussions and records about your work will be kept confidential for your protection.
Everyone involved in reviewing or developing an artist’s work at National Theatre Wales will be expected to work in line with our policies for Equal Opportunities, Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, and Dignity and Respect in the Workplace. These policies are available to you on request, and if you are ever treated in a way that falls below these professional standards by anyone involved with NTW, we ask you to let us know so that we can address the problem as quickly as possible.