DARE Festival 2019 – Call for Submissions

Please note applications for DARE Festival 2019 are now closed.

Join DARE Festival 2019

Upstart Theatre are looking to commission up to 12 artists to create a new, in-development piece of performance for DARE Festival 2019, to be performed at Shoreditch Town Hall between 24-26 October 2019.

About DARE Festival

DARE is a festival of new and in-development theatre and performance exploring the borders between theatre, politics and conversation. If theatre were a music festival, DARE would be its new bands tent – a raucous, unpredictable and joyous place to explore the biggest questions facing us right now. Presented by the innovative Upstart Theatre in Shoreditch Town Hall’s iconic basement space, the Ditch, DARE Festival brings together theatre, installations and discussions to kickstart conversations between artists and audiences.

We do this by:

  • presenting new theatre and performance at the earliest possible stage in its development;
  • holding informal discussion events around the themes of the works being presented;
  • creating a space in which artists and audiences can come together as members of a single community.

What we’re looking for

  • We’re looking for artists, companies or community groups to create a ‘first draft’ of a new work of theatre or performance with a playing time of up to 30 minutes.
  • This new work will ask a big question about you and the world around you, and engage, in some way, with this year’s Festival theme of money. Perhaps you want to share your experience of getting into debt, talk about how we spend money in different ways (such as capitalism, gambling prostitution), explore the story of a cult that was set up to make money, tell us about the decline of door-to-door salesmen, or maybe your show will have a much looser tie to our theme. We’re not prescriptive, and we’d love to see lots of different interpretations of money.
  • You will form part of the DARE Festival community of artists, collaborating with the other makers who are part of this year’s Festival. During the process there will be workshops in which all the artists will come together to update each other on progress and share work. You must be available on these dates: Saturday 27th July, Saturday 7th September and Saturday 12th October. 
  • You must be available all day on the Festival dates, 24th – 26th October 2019, and for technical and dress rehearsals between October 21st and 25th.
  • Though Upstart Theatre will provide some production support, you will be responsible for producing your own show.
  • Shows with minimal technical requirements. Whilst we do provide lighting and sound kit, if you’ve got a full design team and are looking to create complicated lighting states, then this probably isn’t the right fit for you.

What You Get

  • A seed commission of £500;
  • 2 performances in either the Garden Studio or Rivington Room (capacity 60) at Shoreditch Town Hall between 24-26 October 2018;
  • Artistic support from the Upstart Theatre team;
  • Peer workshops with the DARE artist community;
  • Free access to all DARE Festival events;
  • Support in preparing match funding applications to Arts Council England;
  • Marketing support;
  • Box office staff, ushers and technical staff will be provided for the festival;
  • 2 days or more of free rehearsal space in Shoreditch Town Hall in the weeks commencing September 2nd, 16th and October 7th (subject to your availability). 

How to Apply

We’d like to see a short video or piece of writing about you, why you make theatre or performance, and your idea for DARE Festival.

To apply for DARE Festival 2019, please complete this application form.

The deadline for applications is 10am, Tuesday 28 May.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a selection workshop in the evening of either 4th or 5th June at Shoreditch Town Hall from 6 to 9pm. You and up to 2 collaborators MUST be able to attend one of these workshops. We’ll endeavour to notify you by Thursday 30th May if you have been selected for the workshop.

Who Can Apply

Anyone can apply to be part of DARE Festival. This year we’re aiming to build the most diverse DARE Festival yet, so we’re earmarking the following commissions:

  • 2 commissions for lead artists who consider themselves as coming from Black, Asian, minority ethnic, or Refugee backgrounds
  • 2 commissions for artists who consider themselves as having a disability, as being visually impaired, or as Deaf/deafened
  • 2 commissions for artists who consider themselves as coming from working-class backgrounds
  • 2 commissions for artists who identify as LGBTQ+

Please let us know when applying if you consider yourself to have any of these characteristics.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about DARE Festival 2019, please email our producer, Hannah, at hannah.tookey@upstart-theatre.co.uk.

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