We know the impact the past year has had on freelance theatre and performance makers who have lost their live audiences, as well as the ability to get together and create whilst theatres have been closed and live performances cancelled. As the steps towards putting on live performances start to happen, we realise the challenges posed whilst restrictions are still easing.
4x4 Commission - with the support of Cast, Doncaster - and Remote Residency Schemes support the development of artists, companies and makers of live performance during this transitional period.
Meet the artists who are taking up the schemes:
Elin is a director, writer and movement director working primarily in new writing and artist development. She has received training from the National Theatre Studio and is currently a supported artist at Sheffield Theatres' Bank. Additionally, she is a National Student Drama Festival Associate and a National Theatre Connections mentor director. Elin has previously been a part of writers' groups at the Royal Court and Sheffield Theatres. Currently, she is Alexander Zeldin's Associate Director on the European Tour of LOVE.
During the 4x4 commission, Elin will start researching and developing a new project with long-term collaborator, writer and performer, Eve Cowley. She will also use the money to develop an online movement workshop into a wider series of workshops with the hope of creating movement-centred ensemble work in a digital space, transcending geographical boundaries. Finally, Elin will use a part of the commission to support an ACE bid for a final development of play Screwdriver (Sheffield Theatres, Lyric Hammersmith) before touring in 2022. This redevelopment will make the work accessible for blind and visually impaired audiences.
Andro and Eve / Finn Warman
Andro and Eve create unique, feel good events that celebrate queer culture. Programming focuses on voices that are otherwise marginalised, to reflect and celebrate the diversity that exists within the LGBTQIA community. They are the creators of drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come and queer cabaret A Reyt Queer Do, and known for their drag king workshops. Andro and Eve also facilitate creative workshops in Gender Exploration / Gender as Performance, and deliver Gender Awareness Training for staff teams in organisations.
Andro and Eve will be using this 4x4 opportunity to carry out vital organisational development. This will involve reviewing and revising key policies, analysing and developing marketing strategies, and developing practices and processes around access. This work will ensure Andro and Eve are in a stronger position to grow sustainably in future and meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Richard P. Peralta
Richard P. Peralta is a lowercase deaf Filipino-American writer/performer based in Sheffield. After participating in Bush Theatre, Eclipse Theatre, and Black Womxn in Theatre's #HereToStay programme in 2019, Richard became empowered to start writing his own roles. Currently in multiple writing courses to develop Goldfish, his first full-length play, Richard has also since written monologues for Hear Me Now Volume 2, and created a short film titled Champorado for New Earth Theatre's Bayanihan with Love campaign benefiting Filipinx NHS healthcare workers.
There are times when an actor's hearing aid distracts from dialogue of fellow actors on stage by picking up the wrong sounds; the humming of a mechanical stage component or set piece, an audience member's whispering, and even the frustrating crinkling of illegal crisp packs and sweet wrappers. In his 4x4 work, Richard hopes to find solutions for fellow lowercase deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH) actors who use hearing aids on stage. Considering multiple software and hearing device options, he's hoping to find a way to utilise hearing aids simultaneously as in-ear monitors, similar to ones used by musicians and audio engineers. In their process so far, Richard has connected with theatremakers locally and globally in search of a solution, whilst advocating for Sheffield's D/deaf/HoH community in acquiring multiple higher quality hearing aids of standard issue, unlike other cities where more modern technology is offered for each ear instead of just one.
Laura is a writer, actor, and theatre-maker based in Sheffield. She is part of the writer’s cohort on The Bank supported artists scheme at Sheffield Theatres. She has written and produced two full-length plays, Hidden and Parallel, which both toured nationally and is currently writing her third play, JUST, which will form part of Sheffield Theatres' Writers Showcase later in July. As an actor, she has worked with companies including Third Angel, Dead Earnest, and Freedom Studios, and has toured to venues across the north. She is also a workshop-facilitator and teacher. She loves to work in a collaborative way with other creatives and endeavours to make accessible work about modern society which engages, moves, challenges, and entertains a broad audience. She has a playful and provocative approach, exploring political ideas through personal relationships of ordinary people.
Laura is working to develop her creative practice to be more trauma-informed. She is under-going training with The NARM Institute in the US in the Neuro Affective Relational Model to become a certified practitioner in the model. NARM is a cutting-edge model for working with complex and developmental trauma which puts consent, agency, compassion, and curiosity at the centre of all professional interactions with people. As well as developing her own practice, she is working towards developing a training resource for venues and theatre companies to better understand the nature of trauma, how it shows up, how theatre can be both a trigger and salve, and how to hold safe spaces for creatives, audiences, staff, and participants.
Zoyander Street and Squinky
Zoyander – Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Zoyander is an artist-researcher using game design patterns to materialise ethnographic research, with custom hardware to expand game design into a participatory medium in social space. Qualifications include: MA Japanese Studies, University of Cambridge; MA History of Design, Royal College of Art; PhD by practice student, Sociology, Lancaster University. 2018-2020 Platform residency with Site Gallery Sheffield, part of Freelands Artist Support Programme. Board member, Critical Distance. Credits include: Cis Penance (Forthcoming, interactive documentary); Interactive portrait cushions (2019, interactive multimedia installation); Computer petting zoo (2017, interactive multimedia installation).
Squinky – Montreal, Quebec
Squinky is a new media artist and theatre practitioner with a background in game development, using interactive media to create live roleplaying experiences. Qualifications include: MFA Digital Arts and New Media, UC Santa Cruz; prior work with Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre at Concordia University. Founding member of Soft Chaos collective, which is exploring new ways of collaborating in game development through work with guest artists and through incorporation as a worker-owned cooperative. Credits include: Strangers on the 'Net (2020, online immersive interactive play); The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter (2017, digital hybrid roleplaying experience); Coffee: A Misunderstanding (2014, digital hybrid interactive play).
Daljinder has worked as a director and producer in theatre for over ten years. This has previously included working with some of the UK’s leading companies including Citizens Theatre and TAG, NTS, Traverse, Tramway, Young Vic, CAST as well as others.
For Remote Residency:
Daljinder will be undertaking and R&D into the Indian epic, Mahabharata. This opportunity will allow her to explore core themes of the ancient text and work with a dramaturg, mythologist and actors to develop ideas and techniques for an original devised piece.
Eleanor is a 24 year old actor/writer/theatre maker from Sheffield. She graduated in 2019 with First Class Honours in Acting from Falmouth University. Since then she has gained a wealth of experience, especially considering the pandemic, including: multiple festivals, scratch nights, short films, web series’, voice over, and professional theatrical productions. Currently she is part of both Sheffield Theatre’s Young Company- that she will be devising a show with and performing it at the Crucible in October - and Northern Broadsides Young Writing Company, with whom she is now in the process of writing a short play. She is thrilled to be performing her first full-length, autobiographical, self-written solo show, Subdural Hematoma, about her near death experience, at Greater Manchester Fringe in September, and with support from Arts Council England in March of next year at both the Montgomery Theatre; Sheffield, and Kings Arms; Manchester for 4 nights. Eleanor is over the moon to accept the residency from Sheffield Theatres and is incredibly excited for what the future holds.
For Remote Residency:
Eleanor is taking the opportunity and time given to play with a range of ideas she has had featured on BBC Radio Sheffield Upload, including Mardy Bum (a spoken word piece about the joy of the north) and A Day in the Life of a Helpless, Pop-punk Loving 23 Year Old Woman (although she’ll have to change this to 24 now!) Eleanor is going to see where the time and space take her but she also has a scratch piece called Does my Fanny Look Big in this? delving into themes of sexual anxiety that she’s keen to get up and running. She will more than likely use a little bit of the time to work on Subdural Hematoma in the run up to Greater Manchester Fringe, as she has mostly been practising this in her bedroom (not ideal.) She is delightedly overwhelmed by Sheffield Theatres taking this chance on her and cannot wait to get into the playground that is the theatre space.
Yvonne Haslam and Gillian Warburton
Yvonne and Gillian are two Sheffield lasses – well, a bit older than lasses! They are fairly new to writing and performance but are inspired by and committed to producing work that resonates, informs and entertains. Their current project is a play based on Gill’s real life experiences and the human cost of supporting a loved one through life changing circumstances. The story follows a journey celebrating the life of a feisty, loving and glamourous Sheffield pub landlady seen through the eyes of her daughter. It includes humour, nostalgia, brilliant music and down to earth Yorkshire grit, whilst set against a darker backdrop. It brings to light what thousands of families go through trying to navigate the care system and exposes the harsh realities of a care sector in crisis.
For Remote Residency:
They will use this exciting opportunity to grow their knowledge of theatre writing, production and performance. They will work collaboratively with experts in the field to critique their current project and to explore further ways to develop in this area. They wish to identify and take stock of what they have achieved to date and what there is still to be done. They hope to build a better understanding of the complexities of writing and performing a script to a live audience. They welcome Sheffield Theatres' guidance in the right direction and the chance to make valuable, meaningful and lasting relationships with fellow artists, performance makers and supporters.
Lora is an artist, activist and cultural producer. She leads Global Voices Theatre, a theatre company dedicated to introducing international theatre by historically excluded creatives in the UK. She creates devised, socially engaged theatre with professionals and community members alike and works with Arts & Homelessness International to advocate for a place for creativity in homelessness provision. Lora is a steering group member of What Next? and a founding member of Migrants in Theatre, the movement advocating for a better representation of first generation immigrants both on and off stage.
For Remote Residency:
During her remote residency, Lora will be exploring her next project: Becoming British. Part exhibition, part documentary theatre piece, Becoming British will ask what it means to be British from the perspective of first generation immigrants; who has the choice of deciding their national identity and what truly brings us together. For a week, Lora will conduct desk research to include mapping of potential partners and collaborators; academic research around the themes of identity & nation building and project planning with producer Claire Gilbert. Practical workshops with community members and other artists will be undertaken in autumn 2021.
If the topic of the project or the themes above interest or resonate with you, please get in touch at [email protected]
Tom is a Production Manager experienced in working across physical and digital spaces to provide technical solutions that facilitate authentic storytelling. Tom’s work sees him working with companies and festivals across the country to deliver memorable and high quality events, and he is always striving to develop new solutions to push the boundaries of what an audience might expect.
For Remote Residency:
Tom will be using this opportunity to explore how digital theatre can continue to thrive in providing work to new audiences gained during the pandemic. Tom will be working with a company to create a live digital performance, where the focus is on the development process and experimenting with new technologies.
Jazmin Craddock Jones
Jaz is a Sheffield-based writer. She enjoys writing about Black British experiences and also enjoys using fictional narratives to help demystify scientific concepts. Her short-form theatre work has been performed in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. As an alumni of the BFI Network Film Hub North Script Lab, her short film, Back Home: A Windrush Story is now in development. She recently won an audio play micro-commission with Alphabetti Theatre for her Windrush-inspired audio play, Roots Food, which was performed by Cleo Sylvestre and Kemi-Bo Jacobs. Her short story, Black Life, read by BBC Look North presenter Abi Jaiyeola, was broadcast on BBC radio and the BBC Sista Collective podcast.
For Remote Residency:
Jaz will be using this professional development opportunity to focus on writing effective dialogue for theatre. This will be achieved through an in-depth study and exploration of the topic, with feedback on her progress from theatre professionals. She will be guided by personalised dialogue workshop sessions provided by a specialist playwriting consultancy. She will actively observe the transition of dialogue from the page to the spoken word with the assistance of actors and will also have the opportunity learn from theatre work that is currently available to view. She is about to embark on writing her first full-length play and this opportunity will be a fantastic way to build on her playwriting skillset.
Ella is a female playwright and contemporary performance artist based in Sheffield and supported by Sheffield Theatres as part of the Bank Cohort. Ella mostly writes for stage and audio, with a focus on psychological, philosophical, and environmental themes. Through her Theatre MA with The University of Sheffield, she has published work in academic journals, her recent play Nuclear was shortlisted for Sheffield Theatres' and English Touring Theatre’s Nationwide Voices, Middle Child Theatre’s open script submissions, and longlisted for Sphinx 30’s Sphinx Lab London.