Artist Development News & Opportunities

Artist Development Toolkit Day at The Lowry

Thursday 27 February 2020, 10am – 6pm, The Lowry, Salford

Artist development is one of the fastest growing fields in the industry. From informal mentoring programmes to structured development pathways, artist development programmes are becoming a core part of what many organisations offer. This one-day event, hosted by Claire Symonds, The Lowry’s Senior Producer for Artist Development, will provide a rare space for people working in artist development to come together to discuss different approaches, explore new tools and connect with peers from across the industry.

With practical workshops on:

  • Active Listening: Claire Antrobus, Relational Dynamics Coaching
  • Critical Response Process: Natasha Gore, Liz Lerman LLC
  • Developing and Maintaining Healthy Working Relationships: Gemma Baxter, independent consultant and facilitator

We have invited specialists from around the country to share their learning with peers in short provocations that shine a light on the questions and challenges being explored in artist development today. The provocations are:

  • Hannah Barker, Belgrade Theatre Coventry: Are we setting up artists to fail?
  • Sarah Shead, Spin Arts: How do we create a fairer arts for all? Looking to the Golden Age Pirates for answers
  • Rio Matchett, Leeds Playhouse: Having honest conversations about positive discrimination
  • Natalie Querol, Arts Council England: From our ACE correspondent
  • Tim Bell, the egg Theatre Royal Bath: When should an artist development producer start producing?
  • Lucy Graham and Julia Samuels, 20 Stories High: From young person to professional artist
  • Beth Shouler, Curve Theatre: It takes a region to raise an artist
  • Amy Bell, The Place: Beyond inclusion, interoggating access invitation and stewardship of resources

This event is now fully booked. However we will be sharing videos and notes from the day online as a learning resource for artist development specialists in the future.

Casting Call for TRIBE TALKS

TRIBE TALKS is a radical new format of participatory theatre, where a panel of esteemed speakers motivate the audience to talk, discuss, consider, contemplate and fathom the topics of discussion – think the BBC’s Question Time format, interspersed with live performance, music and film.

Tribe will stage an abridged showcase of this innovative concept which narrates the epic story of the Black & Asian people, from the first migration out of Africa 100,000 years ago to present day Britain.

Tribe Arts are seeking north west based performers of the following for scenes to be presented at its Industry Showcase R&D Sharing at The Lowry on 20 March 2020.

Gender: Female

Ethnicity: Mixed African/African Caribbean & European heritage

Min Age: 18 Max Age: 30

Rehearsal Location: Leeds or Manchester

Salary: Industry rates

Rehearsal Date: 9th – 19th March (precise days of engagement tbc)

Sharing Date: 20th March 2020

Deadline: Friday 21 February 2020

Please contact Samran Rathore, Co-Artistic Director, Tribe Arts at

Training Workshops For Your Diary:

Training sessions designed to dig deeper into your understanding of your practice, going beyond introductory workshops. These workshops will also be live streamed from The Lowry’s YouTube Channel.

Making Accessible Theatre

Wednesday 25 March 2020, 9:30am-5.30pm, Aldridge Studio

A day of presentations and practical workshops from passionate theatre makers and creatives who make inclusive and accessible work at point of creation.

Click here to book!


Wednesday 22 April 2020,  7pm – 9pm

Venue: The Lowry (Crosslane Foundation Lab)

Booking information: Free for Artist Network members. Places are limited. Please email with the subject header: “Yes I’m in – CRP”, to book a place.

 Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process is a method for giving and getting feedback on work in progress, designed to leave the maker eager and motivated to get back to work. Through the supportive structure of its four core steps, CRP combines the power of questions with the focus and challenge of informed dialogue. The Process offers makers an active role in the critique of their own work. CRP instils ways of thinking, communicating and being that enhance all kinds of human interactions, from coaching to community dialogue, from artistic collaboration to family conversations. (

When getting feedback, Artists can often get confused and overloaded. It can be useful to see the process as a series of filters or as a way of clearly structuring thoughts for both the people giving and receiving the feedback. When giving feedback people often have impulses towards unfiltered responses or ideas, giving a blunt opinion and making suggestions for what they think the artist should do to fix it.

The Critical Response Process is designed to get people to reflect on what they have seen and then to respond in a way that is most useful to the artist. This workshop will be led by Claire Symonds, Senior Producer: Artist Development at The Lowry.

About Claire Symonds

Claire Symonds has led the Artist Development programme at The Lowry since 2013. During this time she has commissioned over 70 new productions, supported the development of award-winning companies such as LUNG and SpitLip, and supported the next generation of arts leaders through initiatives such the National Theatre’s Step Change Programme.

Previously Claire worked as a Theatre Officer at Arts Council England, as a freelance producer with the Library Theatre Company and as a talent scout for BBC Writersroom. She is an accredited Relational Dynamics Coach and an alumnus of the Stride Women In Leadership programme.

This workshop is run by The Lowry Artist Development and is free for artists in the Artist Network and beyond. Artist Network is a drop-in scheme for those who aspire to work creatively within the industry. Members are offered workshops, training, advice surgeries, ticket discounts and the opportunity to meet like-minded peers. For more information on Artist Network and to sign up, please visit:

Access Support

We want to ensure that this professional development opportunity is available to everyone. Please let us know if you have any access requirements by emailing Grace Ng-Ralph on in order to make the necessary arrangements in advance of your visit to The Lowry.

How To Think Like A Social Entrepreneur Workshop Leader: TBC

Wed 22 April 2020, 7pm, Classroom 1

More information to come.

Yellow Earth Academy

Yellow Earth Academy: Manchester

Yellow Earth Academy is coming to Manchester!

The Academy has been successfully running in London for 10 years and has recently opened in Birmingham and now is coming to Manchester. There are 2 courses one for Writers and one for Performers

Its run by Yellow Earth Theatre – the leading British East Asian Theatre company in the UK and have produced works such as ‘Mountains the Dreams of Lily Kwok’ at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Yellow Earth Theatre have teamed up with theatres and organisations here in Greater Manchester and Salford to engage with British East Asians interested in writing and performing to get involved in the arts.

If you are British East Asian* and are thinking of a career in the arts as a writer or a performer in theatre – then sign up now! Both courses are entirely FREE and open to 16+ with no upper age limit.

You will learn more about the skills, craft, and strategies needed to work in the arts, build a network of fellow British East Asian artists, peers, mentors, opportunities to meet and work with local industry professionals.


The Writers Course is a new nationwide Writers Programme for British East Asian writers to create a step change in BEA writing across the UK.

This course will be held on the last Saturday of every month beginning 25 April – October 2020 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, alongside fortnightly trips to theatre or galleries with a writers focus.


All we need from you is:

  • Up to 5 pages of written work (dialogue/a scene/a story/poetry/lyrics)
  • A paragraph on what you want to get from the programme
  • Email to with ‘Manchester Writers’ in the subject line or message us Twitter/Instagram/Facebook @yellowearthuk

Deadline for application: 28 Feb 2020


The Performers Course is a fully funded intensive course in the Summer for young British East Asians(16+). It will give you a taste of life at drama school and the skills you need to become a professional performer.

This one-week course will be held from Monday 13 – Friday 17 July 2020 at Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN).

No previous performance experience needed just a willingness to play and be open, you can come from any discipline or background


  • Email your interest to with ‘Manchester Performers’ in the subject line and you will be sent a form to fill in.
  • All who apply will be invited to an open audition held in Manchester on Sat 6 June 2020, 3pm-5pm

Deadline for application: 22 May 2020

*East Asian descent includes: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and their Diasporas.


Yellow Earth Academy: Manchester

Delivered by Yellow Earth Theatre in partnership with: Contact, HOME, Royal Exchange Theatre, Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) and The Lowry

Supported by: Manchester School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University

Writers Course is funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation