Stage One, the charity committed to developing and supporting producers for the commercial theatre industry, is extending its highly successful Apprentice Scheme for New Producers into the subsidised sector in a ground-breaking new initiative, made possible by a generous grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The unique training programme, created to fill a skills gap in the industry, has flourished since its inception in 2007 when 3 Apprentices were placed for 1 year in a handful of commercial offices in the West End. Following extensive consultation with a diverse group of subsidised producing companies, this recent financial support from the Foundation will enable Stage One to invite applications from even more aspiring producers of promise.
Stage One will be awarding 3 outstanding candidates the opportunity to spend 6 months in the commercial sector, then a second 6 months in the subsidised sector with host companies such as the Royal Court Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Paines Plough, Headlong, the RSC and Arcola Theatre. The new producers will become equipped to transfer the commercial skills learnt in the first placement and apply them within a subsidised organization in the second half of their training, with a particular focus on the commercial transfer of work. The initiative aims to develop individuals with entrepreneurial flair who will ultimately work across both sectors, increasing communication, sharing knowledge and reinforcing mutual links to keep the UK theatre industry in good health.
Kate Horton, Executive Director of the Royal Court, commented: ‘Extending the Stage One Apprentice Scheme to include the subsidised sector is an exciting step and will help create a generation of young producers with a broad knowledge of the industry as a whole, as well as a flexible and creative approach to producing. Subsidised theatre is the foundation of the UK’s vibrant, risk-taking and innovative theatre industry and schemes like these are invaluable in cementing links between the two sectors, ensuring British Theatre can continue to thrive.’
James Grieve, Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough, added: ‘In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever that the commercial and subsidised worlds work together and learn from each other. The Esmée Fairbairn/Stage One Apprentice Scheme for New Producers is a vital initiative that will offer exciting and diverse training opportunities for the most talented emerging producers, equipping them with the skills and experience to shape the future of theatre. We are delighted to be involved in the scheme, and welcome the chance to learn ourselves from the apprentices and our partners.’
Danyal Sattar of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, commented: ‘We are very pleased to make this grant to Stage One to allow it to develop its work in discovering the producing stars of tomorrow. British Theatre is the envy of the world, and the Foundation recognises the importance of supporting this exciting new initiative. We wish all the candidates the best of luck with their application.’
The extension into the subsidised sector will run alongside the usual Apprentice Scheme for New Producers, which is purely in the commercial sector, and there will be 6 placements in 2011/2012. The aim of both schemes is to offer a 1 year hands-on paid training opportunity for emerging producers to learn about all aspects of theatre production, providing a practical and detailed knowledge of producing across all departments. Placements also offer trainee producers increased confidence via an invaluable entrée into the professional world and a chance to network within the industry to help develop their own projects in the future.
For more information on Stage One and the Apprentice Scheme for New Producers, please contact Katie Harper on 020 7557 6737 or Katie@stageone.uk.com