greenhouse, the three year initiative to encourage new relationships between theatre makers, audiences and venues in the house network, has announced the recipients of its first two producer fellowships: Jolie Booth and Natalie Querol.
The producer fellowships are a continuation of greenhouse’s work to bridge the gap between theatre makers and venues. This has included seed funding new partnerships between artists, venues and local communities, with projects engaging boxers, Quakers, young people, old people, well-being groups and a roller derby team. greenhouse also hosts Pitch Up, a forum for theatre-makers, producers and venues to share ambitions and forge new partnerships.
Independent producers are frequently the catalytic element in the alchemy of theatre making but few programmes exist to support their development. By offering producers the breathing space to consider the opportunities in regional venues, the greenhouse fellowships aim to support producers to step back from the cycles of project funding to explore an area of their work in greater depth. In turn they offer regional venues the additional capacity and entrepreneurialism to support a step change in how they work with theatre makers and audiences, helping to reinvigorate their sense of artistic purpose.
Jolie Booth, independent producer and director of Kriya Arts, recently behind the celebrated Backstage in Biscuit Land by Touretteshero, will be working with Harlow Playhouse and Hertford Theatre to support a step change in their approach to diversity and access. From establishing best practice to developing innovative audience development tools and rolling out relaxed and Extra Live performances, the 12-month project aims to establish a West Essex/East Hertfordshire hub and to share learning with other small to mid-scale venues.
Natalie Querol, independent producer and director of The Empty Space, will be helping the Shelley Theatre to establish itself as a venue for the production and presentation of exciting new work. Through a series of artist residencies, the partnership will respond to the theatre’s aims to build relationships with local audiences, schools and touring companies, as well as developing a relationship with Arts Council England.
Announcing the two producer fellowships, greenhouse project manager Richard Kingdom said, “greenhouse has invested seed funding in a number of companies over the past year and it’s exciting to be extending our support to independent producers. Given the key role that these individuals play within our theatre ecology – and you couldn’t hope for better examples of this than Jolie and Natalie – we’ve no doubt that these fellowships will have a significant impact on the venues that are hosting them, the artists they engage and the audiences they reach.”