Artists require space, time and resources to create new and exciting work. Polka’s creation of PolkaLAB is an investment in the future of Theatre for Children
Peter Glanville, Artistic Director, Polka Theatre

The principle aim of Polka Lab is to provide a supportive in-house framework for the professional development of companies or artists wanting to create innovative and ground-breaking children’s theatre.

Polka lab will support up to three companies or artists per year to research new productions for children and will address significant gaps within the Theatre for Young Audiences sector. These are:

  • Work led by DISABLED ARTISTS
  • Work led by BAME ARTISTS
  • Work created specifically for an EARLY YEARS AUDIENCE (Under 6’s)

3 companies or artists will take part in our first PolkaLAB which will take place between June 2017 – April 2018.

What we offer

  • 1 week of rehearsal space over the year (to be decided by availability of the Polka spaces and the availability of the company)
  • Mentoring from the Polka Artistic Director, Early Years Associate and Theatre Producer over the week of rehearsal plus one further day to be decided upon with company.
  • Opportunity to present work in one of the two Polka spaces (Main House – 300 and Adventure Studio – 90) as a sharing
  • Financial support of £1500 to contribute towards creative fees, materials
  • Feedback and input from Polka’s Young Voices Panel our group of 8-13 year olds who consult with Polka and attend rehearsals.
  • Research and development opportunities can be arranged with children from schools, nurseries or community settings.
What we would like

  • Applicants should clearly show they fit one of the 3 categories above – Either Work led by DISABLED ARTISTS / Work led by BAME ARTISTS / Work created specifically for an EARLY YEARS AUDIENCE (Under 6’s)
  • Applicants should be established children’s theatre companies or companies that have a demonstrable commitment to creating children’s theatre.
  • A clear passion and drive to find ways of creating innovative children’s work
  • All applications should demonstrate how they will work with children as part of the creative process. We are particularly keen to hear about new pedagogical approaches to the process of creating theatre with children.

Please note that the application process is open to companies outside England, but that Polka cannot contribute to relocation costs.

How to apply

Applications are now closed, but if you would like any further information, please email Polka Producer Zoe Robinson zoe@polkatheatre.com.