Call out for Midlands-based theatre makers - First Bite 2021 submissions now open

Wed 5 May 2021

FIRST BITE 2021 Presented by China Plate and Warwick Arts Centre Commissioned by Attenborough Arts Centre, In Good Company and Midlands Arts Centre

We are looking for submissions from theatre makers based in the Midlands to develop new work and showcase your ideas to audiences and industry at the First Bite online micro-festival in September 2021. 

This opportunity will provide 10 artists/companies from the region with the following:

  • £700 towards the development of a new idea/project
  • A chance to share and pitch the work as part of the First Bite online micro-festival
  • Support from China Plate and the First Bite partners to develop the work
  • Two of the programmed artists will be selected to receive a commission of £3000 to further develop the work and present it at its next stage, alongside a showcase of new performance work, during Bite Size festival at Warwick Arts Centre in April 2022

MAC is delighted to once again be a key partner with China Plate on this important festival celebrating and supporting the development of new theatre work our region.

The First Bite Programme

First Bite 2021 supports the kickstarting of new ideas or shows currently in development. The work can take any format (i.e., theatre, dance, spoken word, etc.). Programmed artists must be free to independently develop their work over the summer and will deliver a short digital pitch by late August 2021. 

The nature of the opportunity is to raise your company’s profile and to increase touring opportunities outside of the region; with this in mind work should be suitable for national touring. 

Click here to find out more about First Bite

Digital Pitches

A digital pitch/sharing of the work will be included in the First Bite online festival in September. Pitches will be around 3-5 minutes long, plus a 2-3 minute introduction. Digital pitches must have a performance element to them and could be script readings, performed extracts, extended trailers, creative PowerPoint presentations, etc. 

Artists will have the opportunity to include recorded introductions to the work to provide context, background and future plans. Artists should think about how best to creatively translate the work into a digital format for online audiences - China Plate and the First Bite partners will be available to discuss this with programmed artists. 

Funding and Support

Programmed artists will be awarded £700 to develop their work and record their digital pitch. Additional development support will be available to artists, if required, from the First Bite partners (In Good Company, Attenborough Arts Centre, Midlands Arts Centre and Warwick Arts Centre), including rehearsal space, technical support/expertise, equipment for the recorded pitches. This is subject to availability, demand, and artists' needs. 

The Commissions

Two of the First Bite artists will be commissioned by the First Bite industry panel to further develop their work and present it at Bite Size Festival in spring 2022. The commissions will be awarded on the strength of the digital pitch as an audience experience, the First Bite application and any supporting materials submitted to the panel. 

The two artists/companies will receive a commission of £3000, to include two fully supported development weeks taking place across Attenborough Arts Centre, Derby Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre and/or Midlands Arts Centre. 

China Plate will act as producing, development and creative mentors for the commissioned artists/companies during this period. 

Bite Size Festival

Bite Size will take place on Sat 30 April 2022 at Warwick Arts Centre and is a daylong showcase for theatre makers from across the Midlands. At this stage we are inviting companies to apply to the First Bite part of the project only. Companies that take part in First Bite, but are not selected for commission, may still submit work for consideration for Bite Size 2022.

How to Apply 

Before applying, please read the above project information carefully and remember that companies and artists applying must:

1. Be based in the Midlands 

2. Be available to develop the work during Summer 2021 and to deliver a digital pitch of the work in late August 2021 

3. Be available to develop the piece in time for Bite Size Festival in April 2022 (in the event that your work is selected for commission) 

Apply HERE via China Plate's website.

Please contact should you or your colleagues/collaborators require an easy read application form, or if you would like to discuss alternative ways to apply.