Class Of is an annual cohort of Greater Manchester-based artists and producers looking to build their understanding of the business of theatre. Over the course of a year, we work with the cohort on a collaboratively designed training programme aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the performing arts – industry, production and general survival. It’s an opportunity for us and the group to build long-term, meaningful working relationships as we structure and then work through a unique, bespoke course of professional development together.
In response to the COVID19 crisis, we have extended our Class Of 2020 programme in order to continue working with and supporting this group during lockdown when our building was closed and our programme of in-person events were unable to proceed. We felt it was important to continue supporting this group during a period of great uncertainty and change for individuals and for the industry as a whole. We now meet for monthly digital workshops which continue to directly respond to the participants’ questions, problems and areas of interest for learning. We’re also commissioning the group to make new work for our digital #LoveLowry platform.
We will be recruiting for our next Class Of programme in July 2021, ready for the scheme to start this September. To stay up to date on application information, make sure you sign up to our Artist Network so you start receiving our monthly newsletter here.
Charlie Hammond, Class Of 2020
“Theatre is an incredibly competitive & frustrating field to find success in, and this programme has helped me build the extremely vital business skills, to organise myself and my practice so that I can continue to grow. It’s been a lifeline of support in a chaotic year, and I now feel less like I’m blindly crashing from one creative endeavour to another, and more like I’m falling with style purposefully, planning where I’ll land next.”
Who is it for?
Class Of is a scheme aimed at early-career artists and producers, who are interested in committing to a dedicated year-long learning path, and becoming a proactive and generous member of a close-knit peer support group.
During Class Of 2020, workshops and training have covered subjects such as:
- How to think like a social entrepreneur
- Tour booking and negotiating deals
- Building your online brand on social media
- Making accessible and inclusive work
- Improving and maintaining your mental wellbeing
- Looking after yourself and keeping the creatives you are working safe
Meet The Class of 2020
Amy is a theatre and comedy artist based in Manchester. Amy’s work has been described as “likably down to earth” leaving “audiences splitting with laughter” (NorthWestend) allowing her to talk about taboo and highly personal subjects with charm, humour & frankness. Amy is now working on a solo show ‘The Year My Vagina Tried to Kill Me’ commissioned by Contact Theatre and SICK! Festival which is set to premier and tour in autumn 2019. Over the past four years Amy has also built a reputation as an up and coming stand-up comedian on the Northern circuit.
Antonia is an award-winning artist, writer, director and creative producer with a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to making performance-based work. Antonia makes responsive, research-driven work that sits on the boundaries of contemporary, experimental theatre, performance and live art. Over the last 10 years Antonia has worked extensively in both practical and strategic roles across the creative sector; working with a wide range of nationally and internationally renowned artists and organisations.
Photo by Graeme Braidwood.
Charlie is a clown and maker of surreal DIY theatre-comedy, based in the North-West. He has performed throughout the UK and abroad, in theatres, live-art nights, and on the streets. His energetic, gloriously silly, work has been described as ‘uplifting and extremely original’ (About Manchester for Das Schwimmer), as well as being a ‘gifted physical comedian’ (The Scotsman for Clonely).
Ergon Theatre are a Manchester based company, exploring climate conscious theatre-making that places the audience at the centre of its work. Robin, Noé, Sam and Associate Producer Catt, create interactive work with a focus on imaginative futures based on scientific research.
Katherine is a performer, maker and teacher from Manchester. A common thread running throughout her practice is the need to challenge notions of who can and can’t dance, and to minimise the barriers to accessing dance as a watcher or mover.
Lauren is a millennial dance artist based in the UK. She has recently formed a new company, Tuckshop Dance Theatre in 2016, with an ambitious vision to create high quality dance theatre and digital exports for young audiences. She makes creative work, performs, facilitates learning to take place, and develops opportunities for dance and people in the Northwest.
Nikhil is a theatre maker from Croydon. He directs new plays, makes devised performance, works as a movement director, and facilitates. He is Artistic Director of Trip Hazards, recently named one of The Guardian’s Five Best Young Theatre Companies. He likes to make work that is physical, lo-fi, and which reimagines the relationship between spectator and performer. Nikhil has trained through the Young Vic Directors Program and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Shelley is a performance artist creating and touring dance and interdisciplinary work. Researcher for the International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival and Masters alumni of LCDS, she creates work in response to her own lived experience. Her research interests include; gender and identity, womanhood, representation of body in performance, cognition, and contemporary performance making.
Tania Camara is an Interdisciplinary solo performance artist based in Manchester working across performance, installation, video, and photography. Tania creates work that challenges the concept of nationality, belonging and the black performing body. She takes her cultural heritage, personal experiences, research and the interdisciplinary structure of Batuku which includes singing, dancing, drums and spoken word, as a starting point. Tania holds an MA in Artistic Research from the University of Amsterdam.
Tom is a queer performance artist, writer and creator, originally from Melbourne. Creating original works, he focuses on queer experiences and disrupting mainstream narratives. Co-founder of TomYumSim, a new work performance company, Tom interrogates site-specific and unorthodox performance spaces. Most recently he has been a MIF Creative Lab artist, Co:Lab supported artist and presented solo work Rage Faceat The Yard Theatre.