Make It this Spring!

Applications are now open for the Mercury Theatre’s 2018’s Associate Artist Development Scheme, a bespoke programme of support for mid-career artists. 

Alongside its on-going programme of main stage and studio productions, co-productions and visiting work, the Mercury Theatre has an ambitious programme of Creative Learning and Talent Development, called Make It. 2018 marks the return of many exciting opportunities within the department including the Associate Artist Development Scheme.

The Mercury’s Associate Artist Scheme began in 2016 and has fostered 9 emerging artists in that time. The theatre is now recruiting for up to five Associate Artists and Companies who we can support through 2018-19 to develop new work and/or improve their business resilience through tailor-made attachments to the Mercury of up to 18 months.

Dan Sherer, Associate (New Work and Talent Development), said: “Our New Talent programme looks to support artists at every step. We want to enable local theatre makers of all kinds to create their best work, and more than anything we want to engage writers from different backgrounds, age groups, and specialities – to be a place where all of these individuals can learn and grow. Our Associate Artists Scheme is just one strand of that activity, ideally suited to mid-career artists who want to push their work that step further.”

Daniel Buckroyd, Artistic Director, said: “At our core is a commitment to develop and produce new work, and to support the very best in emerging talent. This season’s programme reflects that commitment, as we stage two brand new Made in Colchester productions: Europe After The Rain – Oliver Bennett’s winning entry to the 2017 Mercury Playwriting Prize – in our Studio Theatre, and new British musical Pieces of String on our Main Stage.

“Joining a New Talent programme at the Mercury brings you into the beating heart of a working, professional theatre, where you can learn from our teams and colleagues, and where new voices carry real value. If that sounds like something for you, then please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.”

Typically, Associates will be mid-career theatre-makers developing work that could be suitable for one of the Mercury’s stages, but if you’ve got an amazing project that doesn’t quite fit that bill do tell us about it; this scheme is about finding and supporting regional theatrical talent of all shapes and sizes!

The Scheme is now open for applications via our online form, with a closing date of Mon 12 March at 6pm.

Previous Associate Artists have included Kenneth Emson, winner of the Mercury’s 2016 play-writing competition, whose play Plastic runs at the Mercury this April. 2017/18’s cohort includes emergent choreographer and theatre director Nancy Kettle; director and Roundhouse Resident Artist for 2016 Scott Hurran; actor, director, comedienne, and improviser Amy Trigg; and Spinning Wheel Theatre, a company creating innovative productions and creative opportunities for rural communities in East Anglia.

Nancy Kettle, Associate Artist for 2017/18, said: “To be an Associate Artist at the Mercury is an absolute privilege. The scheme provides local artists the rare opportunity to define, pursue and enrich their craft with the invaluable support and guidance from consummate professionals such as Dan Sherer and Daniel Buckroyd. It has provided me with a safe, yet creative platform in order to make my first piece of ‘authored’ work as a movement artist. It has been an incredible gift to be given the space and confidence to explore my own practice, to have a voice and absolutely no limitations. As an Associate Artist, I have the opportunity to discover new forms of physical expression, ask the questions I have always wanted ask and share my work with regional audiences.”

For more information about the Associate Artist Development Scheme, or any of our New Talent opportunities, visit or call 01206 573948.