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Applications for Live Theatre Bursaries to support innovative approach to story-based theatre are now open for 2020. Closing date for applications is Thursday 30 April at 10am.

Bursary winning pieces will be presented in Elevator Festival 2021.

The bursary winners will also receive dramaturgical and producing support, rehearsal/R&D space and a performance slot at the Elevator Festival 2021.

Previous bursary winners include Rat Boy by Christina Berriman Dawson and Lee Mattinson (now scheduled for full production in autumn 2020), Nuclear Futures by Gameshow Theatre, Sex with Robots and Other Devices by Claokroom theatre, Lists for the End of the World by fanSHEN, The Soaking of Vera Shrimp by Alison Carr and Captain Amazing by Alistair McDowall

‘For young artists, it is a luxury to have the time to dedicate to the process of making a show, without constantly have to think about the end product. Having the support of Live Theatre gave us more confidence, we got to meet other artists working in the building and we had a space to develop and thrive’ Cameron Sharp and Jake Jarret, recipients of 2018 Bursary for Wank Buddies which was performed at Elevator Festival 2019.

Winning the Bursary last year helped us make a show we’re now very proud of but also more importantly, as newcomers to the region, gave us a home. Presenting our work to audiences, next to other exciting companies, really helped us develop what we were trying to do - that’s what every artist needs!” Rachel Briscoe – fanSHEN (bursary Recipients 2016)

Applications for 2020 Bursaries will open early 2020 when will want to see your innovative ideas, with something new and unexpected. This is an open opportunity to UK based individuals, collaborations or companies.

Bursary winners for 2019 are:
Sian Armstrong for Magic Bus
Ed Edwards for Getting Away With It
Lewis Jobson for Redcoat
Melissa Johns for Snatched
Rachael McGill for Dawn
Juliana Mensah for Faster Than Bolt
Samantha Neale for Last Seen Bensham Road



Are there specific criteria around the type of work we are looking for?

We are not looking for adaptations, reimagining’s, children’s theatre, dance or circus work. Outside of this we are open to all ideas.

Do we accept proposals from companies working outside of the North East?

We are happy to consider proposals from anywhere within the UK, however we are unable to accept applications from artists based internationally. There is an expectation that the recipient artist or company will want to develop an artistic relationship with Live Theatre.

Do I need to have a complete creative team to apply?

We understand that some artists will be applying in the very early stages of their projects and we are happy to support successful artists to find suitable collaborators and performers. However it is important the artist has a clear idea of what they would need from potential collaborators.  We are happy to consider submissions from companies and individuals.

At what stage of development are the artists involved at?

We are keen to engage with artists at all levels of development. Whether an emerging or established artist, whatever your age, this opportunity is open to you.


Winning the Live Theatre Bursary helped us make a show we’re now very proud of. Presenting our work to audiences, next to other exciting companies, really helped us develop what we were trying to do - that’s what every artist needs!” 

Rachel Briscoe, fanSHEN, bursary winners 2016

To find out about future opportunities sign up to Live Theatre's Creative Opportunities Mailing List 

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  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National Lottery Fund
  • National Lottery Fund
  • National Lottery Fund