Commission for Digital Participatory Theatre Maker

Collective Encounters is a Liverpool based arts organisation specialising in using theatre as a tool for social change. Since March 2020 Collective Encounters has been delivering a busy programme of participatory theatre activities, workshops and events online.

One of these programmes of work is Above & Beyond, a four year Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded project with adults living across the Liverpool City Region. Above & Beyond is a project delivered with and by those living in these regions, supported by professional theatre-makers project managers and evaluators.

Above & Beyond is managed by a Project Advisory Group: a collective of participants who meet regularly to advise and make decisions on where, when and with whom activities take place.

The ambition of the project is to:

  • Grow the capacity of people and communities in the Liverpool City Region and in particular Bootle, Birkenhead and Knowsley to use theatre as a tool for social change.
  • Develop the skills of the participatory theatre makers.
  • Adopt a new user-led approach to project management and evaluation.

Activities and achievements of the project to date have included:

  • Working in partnership with over 40 voluntary sector organisations
  • Running taster workshops across Bootle and Birkenhead
  • Facilitating residencies in Bootle Library and Royal Standard House in Birkenhead
  • Setting up two core groups in community
  • Transferring all workshops to Zoom and merging the two core group
  • Devising a scratch piece that the group performed live on Zoom

The Above & Beyond Project Advisory Group is now seeking to commission a participatory/interactive/transmedia artist to lead on the development and making of a new piece of digital participatory theatre that will be accessible to local audiences in the communities in which the project is currently working. The group would like the final piece to

  • Celebrate the power of local collective action
  • Explore different and better futures beyond COVID
  • Challenge the way local communities/people (living in some of the poorest areas of the UK) are portrayed in the mainstream and where, if and how are invested in by policy and decision makers.

Most importantly we would like audiences to leave with hope and positivity for the future, and be inspired and encouraged to take action for positive social change.

The successful artist/s will work to co-create a piece of digital participatory theatre with Abi Horsfield (Above & Beyond Outreach Director), the Project Advisory Group and participants.

In particular the successful artist/s will be responsible for

  • Facilitating and informing conversations on digital forms, platforms, distribution methods.
  • Managing the production and co-creation process.
  • Commissioning any additional artists/makers inline with the production budget.
  • Contributing to evaluation activities as required.

The successful candidates will have:

  • A proven track record in making digital participatory theatre.
  • Excellent skills in video and sound editing and production.
  • An understanding and experience of the digital participatory theatre making process.
  • Working collaboratively with a creative team to deliver collaborative online experiences.

Applications should be made be in the form of a short (no more than 4 minute) video that addresses the following –

  • An example or link to a piece of digital participatory theatre you have previously made.
  • An explanation of how this piece was made.
  • Why you are interested in working on this project.
  • The specific digital skills you will bring to this project..

The total fee available for the commission is £4000 with an additional £2000 production budget.

Applications should be submitted to abi@collective-encounters.org.uk either via a link to google drive video, YouTube or Vimeo link or via Wetranfer.

Key dates:

  • Applications to be with us no later than 5pm on 6th January 2021
  • 8th January 2021 interviews via zoom.
  • 20th January 2021 contract starts.
  • 29th April 2021 performances.