Programming – April-July 2019

The Sheffield Local Theatre seeks shows for its opening season: April-July 2019. SLT is a new fringe theatre in Sheffield. We’re looking for small-scale theatre/performance of (almost) all kinds.

ABOUT US

The Local Theatre is a new fringe venue in Sheffield, opening in April 2019.

We will have a small black box space with basic sound, lighting, and projection equipment and 80 to 100 seats in end-on setup. We’re refurbishing our building in February, so the exact info on the performance space is subject to change, though we expect there to be minimal changes.

We’re seeking shows for our opening season (April to July 2019).

FINANCES

We work on a 70/30 split for programmed shows: you get 70% of ticket sales.

We charge you for an hour of time with a venue technician during your get-in, and another hour during your get-out. We take this from your share of the ticket proceeds. Unfortunately we can’t waive this (even if you have a great technician of your own) because we need to make sure that you’re safe in the venue. Currently this stands at £15 per hour, which means a default charge of £30.

You have the option to hire a venue technician to operate your show, at the same rate as the get-in and get-out fees, if you don’t have your own operator.

We have no hidden fees, but if you break something, you’ll have to pay for it.

Our ticket prices are £8 with a £5 concession, or £7 flat with no concessions. If your budget requires more expensive tickets, we can go up, but we can’t afford to go down.

LOGISTICS

We will put your show in our (limited run) season brochure, put up your flyers and posters, and do online marketing for your show. We’ll expect you to be prompt in sending us images and blurbs for the brochure, and in getting print publicity delivered to us, and to do social media promotion to get people to come to the show.

Our standard run is 4 nights. We will try to help you find somewhere to stay if you need it. If you can’t do 4 nights, say how many you can do.

WHAT KIND OF SHOW WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Here’s what we like: compelling stuff that says something about the world, and also sells tickets

We’re interested in almost all forms of theatre and performance.

Shows should be at least around an hour long (50-something minutes is fine) though get in touch if you have something shorter that really fits with our ethos

We need to get everyone out of the building by 11pm for licensing purposes, so anything longer than 2 ½ hours will be difficult.

Mostly we want ready-to-perform shows. We are interested in giving free rehearsal space to less developed shows, with performances at the end of the week under our usual deal (see finances, above). If this is you, please make it clear in the subject of your email

Here’s what doesn’t fit well with us:

  • Dance and circus. We have a small performance space: these generally won’t fit inside it. If you have a show that can fit in a small space, get in touch.
  • Classics and revivals. If you’re putting a genuinely new spin on a classic, get in touch.
  • Stand-up comedy. This is a very popular and well-trodden form, and unless you’re doing something very unusual with it we’re probably not the place to go!
  • Clairvoyants. Working in the theatre is difficult enough without knowing what tomorrow will bring.

INCLUSION/DIVERSITY/OUR AREA

At The Local Theatre we have a social mission to use our theatre to help people in disadvantaged groups live life to the full.

For our artistic policy this means that we’re especially interested in shows that are made by people from disadvantaged groups and/or are about issues that are important to those people. For example, this might include shows made by all-female teams, and shows by and for older people.

As a Sheffield theatre, we’re especially interested in shows from Sheffield, Yorkshire, and the North. This doesn’t mean that we don’t want to hear from people across the UK (and internationally!) but that, all other things being equal, we’re focusing on shows from near us.

Accessibility info:

Our Front of House area is wheelchair-accessible, but our performance space and toilets are not. We’re hoping to fix this in the future.

We’re asking all shows in our programme to have at least one performance be a relaxed performance. The National Theatre have some good information about relaxed performances: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/your-visit/access/relaxed-performances. We’ll discuss specifics with you further down the line.

ACTUALLY APPLYING

Apply by January 21st.

The email is programming@thelocaltheatre.com. Please use the email template below when contacting us – using it will speed up your application.

Subject: [name of show], [name of company]

Attachments: tech spec, risk assessment, touring pack (if you have one)

Body: briefly do these things:

  1. introduce yourself (and your company if applicable),
  2. tell us what makes the show cool/exciting/important,
  3. say the dates you are available to tour to us,
  4. mention anything that needs to be mentioned about the show (like if there’s fire or animals involved for instance),
  5. say if there’s any particular audiences (e.g. people with mental health problems or lovers of cats) who will be interested in your show,
  6. if you have any add-ons or additional content you can do (like workshops or post-show talks),
  7. whether you can do at least one relaxed performance
  8. any accessibility stuff we can help you with,
  9. link to videos/photos/reviews of the show,
  10. information on any performances of the show we can try and attend

(If you have a touring pack that has all of this info in, you can just send us the pack and say so, rather than typing it all out again.)

The programming email is a shared inbox. The artistic director is Tim Norwood, so you can address emails to him; Miranda Debenham is the executive director, so you can alternatively address emails to her. You may sometimes get a reply from the other one: if Miranda has a particular interest in a show you addressed to Tim, for instance. Once one of us has replied to you, that person will continue correspondence with you.

We’ll reply as soon as we can, but we anticipate being very busy setting up the theatre.

We aim to be clear about whether we’re interested in programming you, rather than leaving you hanging, so we may simply say that we’re not a good fit for your show. If we know of another Sheffield venue that might be interested we’ll tell you.

It’s possible that we’ll have multiple shows about one thing, and be unable to programme them all, or that for some other reason we’d like to have your show but not in this season. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know and keep your show on file for the future.

If it’s been over a week and you genuinely need a quick reply, do send a follow-up email.