Open Space

Open Space returns - this is your chance to try out new work!

We’re so proud to continue supporting new and emerging talent in our community, and so are delighted to announce the return of our annual scratch night, Open Space!

Designed as a lab for creativity, an opportunity for artists to explore new ideas, experiment, and to test material in front of an audience, on Saturday 6th April we’ll be inviting audiences to our Studio theatre space to get a sneak peek of some of the exciting new ideas being explored by our Cumbrian Creatives network.

We welcome all kinds of untried and untested work, from spoken word to music, from dance to theatre, and much more. As part of the evening we’ll also be supporting the progress of this work by asking our audience to offer feedback that we hope will help further the development of these pieces

What are we looking for?
We’re inviting members of the Cumbrian Creatives network from all disciplines to apply for one of four micro commissions. We’ve included some guidance for applications below:

• We’re looking for scratch pieces of between 10-15 minutes, which can be performed live in our studio theatre.
• Work can be solo or collaborations between multiple artists. Please note that Theatre by the Lake cannot accept just a script without a plan for a creative team or who would be performing, but we can help by posting callouts for collaborators in our next newsletter.
• We’ d love to hear about all kinds of untried and untested work, from spoken word to music, dance to new plays, comedy to performance art and much more.
• Pieces should be in the development stages – this is a scratch night so we’re expecting rough and ready!

What will participating artists get?
• Four pieces will be shown at TBTL’s Open Space scratch night on Saturday 6th April 2024.
• The chosen artists, even if not performing, must be available on the night for a Q&A with the audience.
• Each chosen artist or collective will receive £500 towards their expenses.
• TBTL will be able to provide basic lighting states and sound equipment, along with a technician to operate, so please pitch your piece within your own capabilities.

How can you apply?
Proposals can be submitted either in writing (max. 400 words) or by recording a short video (2 minutes max) telling us about your idea, and how being part of Open Space would help you progress your work. Email your proposal to: by 5pm on Monday 19th Feb 2024.

Please do not send attachments greater than 25MB. We’ll let you know if your proposal has been successful by Monday 1st March 2024.

Whilst Open Space is open to everyone, the theatre will be prioritising the work of Cumbrian based artists in the Open Space programme and actively encourage proposals from artists who are Deaf and Disabled, Neurodiverse, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists from the global majority.

If you need further support in order to access this opportunity or the application process please contact Claire.

• Monday 19th Feb – Applications deadline for micro-commissions
• Monday 1st March – All applications will receive a response by this date
• w/c 25th March – technical & planning meetings (either in person or remotely)
• Saturday 6th April – Open Space event. Four pieces performed, followed by Q&A with the artists. TBTL requests that artists are available for a tech rehearsal during the day, times TBC.

If you are an artistic of any discipline living in, or with connections to Cumbria, you may want to consider joining our Cumbrian Creatives network – to find out more go to our Artist Network