The Watermill Theatre and Associate Company Wildcard are proud to partner on LAUNCHPAD, a new artist development programme supporting emerging theatre companies to take flight into the industry. LAUNCHPAD will provide four companies with mentorship, professional support and free rehearsal space as well as a cash investment of up to £2,000 to put towards developing a new piece of work.

The successful companies will have the opportunity to undertake a week of research and development with free rehearsal space at Wildcard Studios in central London or at The Watermill Theatre near Newbury between May and June 2021.

Through LAUNCHPAD, The Watermill and Wildcard teams will provide support before and after the development week, offering dramaturgical and artistic guidance where required. Producing support and networking opportunities will also be key components of the programme, helping companies to establish future opportunities and an onward life for their new pieces of work.

James Meteyard, Artistic Director for Wildcard, said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with The Watermill on LAUNCHPAD. Artist Development has always been at the heart of Wildcard; we are a home for emerging artists. LAUNCHPAD embodies this ethos and sits alongside our recently announced Training Ground which provides affordable workshops where artists can hone their craft. Intended to be a responsive programme that adapts to the needs of each company, we hope that LAUNCHPAD will go some way towards helping these organisations take flight out of this pandemic and find sure footing in the new world. The Watermill has been a place where we have developed our work in a safe and creative space. We started ELECTROLYTE’s journey in their rehearsal room, R&Ding the piece in its early days. It was this support, along with a cash injection, that enabled us to realise a production that was a step up for our company and has led to many wonderful opportunities. We are over the moon to now come full circle and work with the Watermill again to be able to offer similar support to four emerging companies during these challenging times.

Abigail Pickard Price, Associate Director (New Work and Artist Development) for The Watermill, said, “We are delighted to be collaborating with Associate Company Wildcard on LAUNCHPAD. Several years ago a young theatre company, Wildcard spent a week in The Watermill rehearsal room developing their ingenious ELECTROLYTE. Since then they have gone on to take the industry by storm with this piece and continue to move from strength to strength. To now have the opportunity to work together to help develop the work of four new companies feels like the perfect partnership. Now more than ever we need to be providing opportunities for wealth of new voices to enter the industry; we hope that LAUNCHPAD will provide valuable support both financially but also through mentorship and space for four new companies to take flight into the industry. We can’t wait to meet the new artists who will come through our doors.

Applications for LAUNCHPAD are open until 1 April. Full information and application details available at www.watermill.org.uk  or www.wildcardtheatre.co.uk

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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