New Vic Theatre will work with local site-specific theatre company GreenHouse Theatre Project as their Associate Artist for 2019 in a drive to help support and strengthen the creative industry of North Staffordshire.
Over the next year, the New Vic will work with the Stoke-on-Trent based theatre company as part of the its artistic development programme, The Kiln, which nurtures the development of independent artists and companies with the aim of building on the arts sector of North Staffordshire.
The partnership will see the New Vic support GreenHouse by providing mentorship from senior members of the New Vic team in business planning, marketing and fundraising. The yearlong association will also provide opportunities to observe work, rehearsals and administrative processes, as well as material resources, including access to meeting and rehearsal and development space.
GreenHouse Theatre was founded in 2011 in America by Emily Adams and Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri. Upon returning to the UK, director and performer Emily joined forces with director and musician Rebecca Taylor to bring GreenHouse to Stoke-on-Trent.
Creating innovative theatre in unexpected places and placing community engagement at the heart of their productions, GreenHouse aims to introduce non theatre attenders to a world of exciting storytelling. The company’s first official UK performance took place in May 2018 when original piece, Dark Side of the Moon: The Mary Shelley Project, was performed over three sell-out nights in Hanley’s Bethesda Chapel.
Theresa Heskins, New Vic Theatre Artistic Director, said: “The New Vic was the first ever regional theatre to be an associate company of the National Theatre Studio. Our 18-month residency was a period of tremendous artistic growth, giving us access to knowledge and expertise; opportunities to develop ambitious ideas; a base on the South Bank; new relationships; and a chance to dream. Afterwards, realising we were in a position to do the same for others, we set up our own associate artist scheme.”
Zoë Waterman, New Vic Theatre Associate Director, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting Greenhouse as our Associate Artists for 2019. Our Associate Artist scheme allows us to support a local company, and in doing so work to enrich and build on the arts scene in North Staffordshire. We are passionate about working within a vibrant and growing cultural hub and this is an opportunity for us to directly support and engage with a company who is a part of that. It is also a chance for us to reflect on our own work and learn from them – having artists around the theatre engaging with us and our work is always a really stimulating and exciting opportunity.”
Emily Adams, GreenHouse Theatre Co-Artistic Director, said: “We are extremely honoured to be this year’s New Vic Associate Artist. Their critically acclaimed work is most beloved by the local community it serves and it is this dedication to the cultural climate of Stoke-on-Trent that makes us so very excited to learn from their expertise. We look forward to a year of observing rehearsals, learning from their marketing and fundraising team and soaking up the wisdom of their Board. We can’t wait to play a part in the ever inclusive world of the New Vic and hope for a working relationship that lasts beyond our Associate Artist status.”
The New Vic’s artistic development programme, The Kiln, supports the development of local, independent artists and companies. Each year, the New Vic will work with a different local artist, collective or company to support their development by sharing knowledge from throughout the theatre. The programme launched in 2016 with the first recipient being Restoke. FRONTLINEdance then became Associate Artist in 2017.