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CPT's new Artist Development Programme marks joining the National Portfolio

Theatre news

CAMDEN People’s Theatre (CPT) celebrates joining the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, announcing a new programme of Artist Development opportunities and support as part of its commitment to supporting emerging artists who create new artistic forms to address contemporary concerns.

Sh!t Theatre and Barrel Organ are announced as Associate Artists of the venue for 2015/16. Each artist receives free rehearsal space, mentoring, fundraising support, access to CPT facilities and a £1350 fee.

Rather than a focus on the production of a specific show, the scheme will give the artists involved the opportunity to develop their own practice with the support of CPT and to embed themselves in the life of the venue. In return, the associates will engage with the work of CPT and its artists, and act as an advocate for the organisation.

The call-out for applications for the People’s Theatre Award has also been announced. This is a brand new prize for theatre projects that combine innovation with potential for public impact. The award – which derives from an interrogation of the word “People’s” in CPT’s name – seeks to demonstrate the popular potential of new forms of theatre.

The successful artist/company will receive £1500 towards a work-in-progress performance of their project, alongside rehearsal space and mentoring, with a view to full production at or in collaboration with CPT.

CPT works to ensure its development opportunities reach the widest possible pool of artists, particularly those that are under-represented on British stages. With this is mind, it has a new commitment to working with organisations including Tara-Arts, Tamasha, Shape Arts and Deafinitely Theatre, finding new ways to engage with their networks of artists, and proactively sharing call-outs and programmes of support.

In autumn 2014, CPT – funded by Arts Council England – commissioned research into artist development at CPT, and beyond. To coincide with becoming an NPO, CPT now publish this research by theatre-maker and academic Dr Hannah Nicklin.

Dr Nicklin’s report features interviews with artists and programmers including Annabel Turpin (Arc Stockton), Emma Frankland (Campsite) and Sh!t Theatre. It interrogates what CPT (and others) mean by artist development: how it works, what it offers, how it could be improved. CPT is adjusting its artist development activity based on Dr Nicklin’s research, and – as more theatres seek to support and develop the work and practise of early-career artists – CPT is proud to make it available to the sector more widely. This research is downloadable at

Becoming a National Portfolio Organisation means that CPT will receive unrestricted core funding from 2015-18. It is the only theatre in London to become a National Portfolio Organisation for the first time in the new funding round.

CPT’s Artistic Director Brian Logan said: “We’re excited to embark on a new chapter at CPT, as we receive core funding for the first time in our 21-year history. The new funding agreement is a recognition of the work we do year-round supporting innovative early-career artists. But it also rewards those artists, for consistently making (at or with CPT) some of the most thrilling and unexpected performance in the UK.

“As the initiatives we’re announcing today demonstrate, we’ll use NPO funding to widen the range of support we offer emerging artists, and tailor it even more expertly to their needs. And because that activity feeds directly into our public programme of work, we’re confident that this improved support will lead to a higher-quality and even more dynamic offer to our audiences.”

Find out more about the People’s Theatre Award here.