Performing Arts Fund Blog

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  1. Stone Soup

    Thursday 21 August 2014, 12:48

    Carrie Rooney Carrie Rooney Project Co-ordinator


    In our continuing series of blogs from our Community Theatre Fellows we join Theatre by the Lake.

    “I offered my opinion on peas / Everyone is different no matter how similar they may seem”.

      Theatre by the Lake: Stone Soup Theatre by the Lake: Stone Soup

    Two of the many wonderful quotes to come from the contributors of Theatre by the Lake’s Youth Theatre Group.

    Their new project “Stone Soup” inspired by Folk Tales will see them travelling the Lake District visiting schools and community centres performing from September until the end of October.

    The history of the project goes back to February 2013 when Theatre by the Lake brought together the many youth theatre groups they have connected with throughout the Lakes from Cockermouth to Workington. 

     Jeff Wallcook (Writer & Director Stone Soup) about the Festival 

    The feedback from the audience and participants was extremely positive with many of the older youth theatre members expressing a passion for spreading the word of youth engagement in the arts and putting young people in a positive perspective in their communities. They had a desire to take their work out to other young people and to become positive role models and advocates for community...

    Read more about Stone Soup

  2. The Grimsby Story

    Thursday 24 July 2014, 13:40

    Carrie Rooney Carrie Rooney Project Co-ordinator


    In a new series of feature blogs we are catching up with our Community Theatre and Theatre Fellows.

    Fusion Youth Theatre one of our Community Theatre Winners enagaged with Grimsby locals with fascinating results.

    Outreach-Fusion-Youth-Theat.jpg Capturing Memories at Grimsby Shopping Centre


    "On the 15th May 2014, in The Grimsby Minster, we performed "The Grimsby Story". We were able to do this because of the BBC grant we had received.

    We had been working in the community, listening to peoples stories of snippets of their lives. It started off with a community event in our local shopping centre. Led by Emma Middleton and Louise Clark, people were invited to share their memories and stories about Grimsby. This was a great success, and we ended up with a group of people who saw the project through to the performance. It’s working title was "Stories, Sites & Spectacles". We attracted participants through posters distributed throughout the town, and by word of mouth.



    Once collected, the stories were brought to life through music, drama and poetry. A genuine camaraderie developed as rehearsals went on. All ages and talents came together to develop the piece. Masks were made, from paper mache, of the gargoyles...

    Read more about The Grimsby Story

  3. Going with the Flow

    Friday 18 July 2014, 13:56

    Carrie Rooney Carrie Rooney Project Co-ordinator

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    In a new series of feature blogs we are catching up with our Community Theatre and Theatre Fellows. Charlotte Mountford PAF Theatre Fellow 2014 (producer)The Lowry Salford Quays discusses her new project Flow Salford.


    Flow Salford Flow Salford  


    The Flow Salford journey began in December 2013 when The Lowry and I were successfully awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship. It had always been a part of the application that the culmination of my fellowship would be some sort of showcase for local artists. After meeting with many Salford theatre-makers, directors, performers, writers, graduates, students, venues and lecturers my ambition for the project expanded.

    I began to get other venues on board – The Kings Arms and Salford Arts Theatre – who were equally as excited about a festival of new local work as I was. We agreed that Flow would be a weekend festival celebrating the vast, the varied and the very new work being made in Salford today.  A diverse range of strictly Salford’s newest talent would take up residency across the city’s cultural landscape. We were excited about the cross-pollination of audiences this could provide as well; the opportunity to see something new...

    Read more about Going with the Flow

  4. 40 Days to Go

    Wednesday 9 July 2014, 11:02

    Carrie Rooney Carrie Rooney Project Co-ordinator

    As this blog goes to press we have 40 days left until the closing date for our current BBC PAF Fellowship. They say time flies but who would have thought that 70 days have gone already.

    The flood of supporting documents has started and we love seeing the innovative ways you have used video and social media to advertise your open calls.

    In June Miriam O’Keeffe Director of the Fund took to road and covered the length and breadth of the country answering your questions about this year’s fellowship. We were delighted that so many of you took the time to come and meet us and equally it was wonderful...

    Read more about 40 Days to Go

  5. The PAF Team are “On the Road”

    Wednesday 14 May 2014, 12:25

    Carrie Rooney Carrie Rooney Project Co-ordinator

    PAF Fellowship for Blog  

    June sees the BBC PAF team take to the road in a series of briefings about the 2014 Fellowship.

    We are traversing the country from Cardiff to Newcastle from Glasgow to Belfast hoping to meet you and bringing you an insight into this year’s grants scheme.

    We know that many of you have questions about the application process and this is your chance to hear the Fund’s Director Miriam O’Keeffe provide her insights into this year’s Fellowship.

    This year’s scheme is open to all genres in the performing arts including circus and puppetry. We know from our Inbox that many of you still have...

    Read more about The PAF Team are “On the Road”

  6. How we found our Fellow

    Thursday 1 May 2014, 08:00

    Genny Cotroneo Genny Cotroneo

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    Still getting get your head around how to find a possible PAF Fellow? We asked Ric Watts, Producer with Unlimited Theatre, to talk us through their selection process for last year's Theatre Fellowship.

    Unlimited image

    "For Unlimited, the BBC Performing Arts Fellowship is a great opportunity to take a proactive approach to something we see as a real issue facing the contemporary theatre sector – a lack of experienced producers to support all of the brilliant artists making work at the moment.  As a company making new work that tours nationally and internationally, we’re well placed to give direct hands...

    Read more about How we found our Fellow

  7. The 2014 BBC Performing Arts Fellowship Scheme

    Wednesday 9 April 2014, 12:28

    Miriam O'Keeffe Miriam O'Keeffe

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    PAF Grant page image

    This year we are excited to announce a new version of the Fellowship scheme.  Over the past three years we have offered Fellowships in dance, music and theatre.  Now we are opening up the scheme so that organisations from across the world of the performing arts can apply to host an emerging talent for a year.

    We are looking for applications from organisations that can offer development opportunities, support and training from all genres of the performing arts.  From dance, music and theatre to opera, spoken word, circus and puppetry, we are interested in hearing from organisations across...

    Read more about The 2014 BBC Performing Arts Fellowship Scheme

  8. Meet the Winners: Lung Ha's Theatre Company

    Wednesday 12 March 2014, 14:51

    Genny Cotroneo Genny Cotroneo

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    Lung Ha's is an Edinburgh based theatre company that provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities to become actively involved in the performing arts. They are currently rehearsing for a collaboration with National Museums Scotland and will be performing in the Ediburgh Festival Fringe in another co-production with Stellar Quines. Find out more about this busy theatre group...

    Lung Has Theatre Company group in action

    1. Who are Lung Ha's Theatre Company?
    Started in 1984, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company consists of a maximum of 25 performers with learning disabilities from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, who attend a weekly...

    Read more about Meet the Winners: Lung Ha's Theatre Company

  9. Emily DeDakis - Theatre Fellow & Dramaturg

    Tuesday 25 February 2014, 10:46

    Genny Cotroneo Genny Cotroneo

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    Emily DeDakis was born in the USA, completed an M.A. in English and a PhD in Creative Writing in Queen's University Belfast, and was awarded a BBC Performing Art Fund Fellowship to work and train full-time as a dramaturg with Accidental Theatre.

    Emily DeDakis sitting behind a desk casually

    Her first full production this year see's the work of debut playwright Donal O'Hagan in theatre venues across Northern Ireland. O'Hagan's The Kitchen, the Bedroom and the Grave, which is a multimedia exploration of homecoming, brings brings candid insight to issues of family and identity in Northern Ireland. The play, which asks how far a person can author their own life cuts to the heart of core questions we face as individuals: nationality, sexuality, and responsibility for family.

    Emily says “I’m bowled over that the BBC Performing Arts Fund has given me such a generous and thoughtful chance to develop new work. It's fantastic to be involved in work that is capable of bringing national issues to the local stage and engaging local people through the powerful medium of drama, especially given the concerns expressed about everyone accessing the arts.”

    Here is Emily recounting her experiences of the fellowship so far...

    Read more about Emily DeDakis - Theatre Fellow & Dramaturg

  10. Meet the Winners: Young & Talented Rep Company

    Wednesday 12 February 2014, 07:09

    Genny Cotroneo Genny Cotroneo

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    The Young & Talented Rep Company was created by Suzann McLean and David Fielding in collaboration with Oxford House to give young actors a chance to perform and to express themselves with realistic and honest material that is a true representation of what it is like to be a teenager in society today.

    We asked the group to answer some questions, so take a minute and get to know Young & Talented a little better…

    a group shot of some of the performers in the Y&T company

    Who are Young & Talented?
    The Y&T Rep Company is dedicated to providing outstanding opportunities for young people.
    The plays they create are a reflection on topical and current situations...

    Read more about Meet the Winners: Young & Talented Rep Company

About this Blog

The BBC Performing Arts Fund is a charity committed to developing new performing arts talent from across the UK. This blog provides the latest news on our grant-making, as well as tips and advice from experts in the business and updates on previous grant winners.

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