The New Vic Theatre will work with three Associate Artists – Khaos Theatre, Quick Duck and playwright James Morton – across the next year, as part of the theatre-in-the-round’s relaunched Kiln Associates programme.
Locally, the theatre is also launching the Kiln Network to provide essential networking and professional development opportunities for performing arts professionals, led by Ingrid Banerjee Marvin.
Led by Associate Director, Vicki Amedume, the New Vic’s artist development programme hopes to help build a richer and more dynamic arts sector locally and nationally by supporting independent companies and creatives, helping them to develop their ideas and practice. As well as up to £5,000 worth of investment each, the Associate Artists will have access to development space within the theatre, advice and support from New Vic staff and opportunities to observe rehearsals and other work.
Khaos Theatre is an artist-led international company which explores contemporary stories in daring ways. Training as an actor at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts before co-establishing Khaos Theatre, director James Scotland takes his inspiration from the practices of repertory theatre, and likes to explore the way classical and modern performance can intersect. Recent projects include The Ballerina (Vault Festival, 2020) and creating interdisciplinary performance space The Sunday Art Club in Shoreditch. James was Assistant Director on She Ventures and He Wins (Young Vic, 2019).
Birmingham based company Quick Duck Theatre make queer shows with a lot of heart and a killer soundtrack. Winners of Best Ensemble at the National Student Drama Festival in 2019, the company’s interactive, comic productions include Magic Hour: The Murder Mystery Disco!, Yours Sincerely, and Fashion Spies and they have toured with critical acclaim to pubs, night clubs and high profile studio theatres and festivals across the UK.
New Vic Youth Theatre alumni and playwright James Morton completes the trio of Associate Artists for 2021/22. Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, James honed his craft with the National Theatre Playwright’s Toolkit, was a ‘Young Agitator’ at the Royal Court Theatre, and part of Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab in 2017/18. His short play Archipelago was performed at the Arcola Theatre in 2019. The youngest playwright to make the prestigious Tony Craze Award shortlist with his debut Father’s Son (Vault Festival, 2020), James writes plays that focus on the intimate, tender details of ordinary lives and tackle themes such as masculinity and grief.
Associate Director Vicki Amedume said: “We were bowled over by the response to our call for Associate companies. The high level of interest revealed to us the deep need in the arts sector to do better in supporting independent artists more. We are excited to be joined by these brilliant creatives for the next year and to support them in their work, learn from them and build opportunities and connections that will enrich the local arts ecology.”
Director James Scotland, of Khaos Theatre, said: “The New Vic’s Kiln Associates scheme enables a deep desire for theatrical exploration that my fellow actors and I could only dream of years ago. It’s a great privilege to have our work recognised and I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to develop our theatre-making process. Here we will collaborate with like-minded artists and fundamentally shape our voice as a theatre company.”
Will Jackson, Artistic Director of Quick Duck Theatre, added: “We are over the moon to be one of the New Vic’s Associate companies. They are one of the most innovative theatres in the Midlands, and we’re so excited for this opportunity to elevate our work and practice as a company”
Playwright James Morton said: “I’m incredibly excited to be back at the New Vic! It is the place that fostered a real love of theatre in me back in the day as a teenager performing in the youth theatre. I can’t wait to be connected to so many new, vital artists and to make new work and positive change.”
New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins added: “Supporting independent companies and artists has been transformative for us as an organization. Sharing the wonderful resource that is the New Vic we hope will make a difference to them but it’s worth saying that it’s an equally special thing for the New Vic: it brings new energies into the building, keeps us fresh and contemporary, and connects us with our industry and with developing practices. We’re excited to see what new adventures we’ll go on together with the Kiln associate artists.”
Alongside their Kiln Associates scheme, Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre are also launching the Kiln Network for performing arts professionals at any stage of their career in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The network will provide essential networking and professional development opportunities for its members, such as workshops, talks, support from industry professionals and chances to see rehearsals or productions at the New Vic. Led by local producer Ingrid Banerjee Marvin, the Kiln Network aims to be artist-led, allowing members to decide on the content and focus of professional development opportunities to ensure the programme is responsive and meets the needs of local artists.
Ingrid Banerjee Marvin said: “Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is full of incredibly exciting theatre makers and creatives. The Kiln Network is a brilliant and needed scheme to help these creatives connect, learn from each other and hopefully collaborate with the aim to strengthen and grow the performing arts sector in the local area. As a producer and theatre maker from Stoke, I’ve always struggled to find peers to collaborate and connect with, so I’m delighted to be able to lead on this programme to facilitate this much needed network.”
For more details on the New Vic’s Kiln Associates, or to find out more about the Kiln Network, including how you can sign up, please visit newvictheatre.org.uk