Programmers Portal - Unity Theatre

Launching Summer 2021: Unity are seeking programmers and producers from across the UK to be a part of their Programmers Portal pilot.

The Programmers Portal is a first-of-its-kind online platform that has been developed to diversify the UK theatre-touring circuit, following research into the practical and financial restrictions preventing both artists and tour-bookers from accessing opportunity and talent.

It is expensive for artists and companies to exhibit work at national festivals, which are often seen as the best place to garner national profile and book tours.

Last train times, long working hours and budget restrictions also mean it is costly for programmers and producers to attend festivals, press events and industry sharing’s outside their city of residence. When you then add COVID restrictions into the mix, discovering new voices and stories from across the UK only gets more difficult.

The Programmers Portal will allow theatre programmers at venues and festivals across the UK to access private, high-quality recordings of company work through a new YouTube-style platform. The library will also include company biographies, tour packs, press cuttings and technical riders which can be filtered by genre, scale, availability for tour, accessible performance options and additional community, education and artist development packages.

All of this will create a broader, more exciting, accessible tour-booking process for programmers, whilst allowing a greater number of artists to get their work seen.

The project is also part Unity’s green agenda and a wider-industry effort to lower carbon-emissions.

Get involved – Programmers & Producers:

Launching in summer 2021, the first-phase of the project will exhibit over 30 recordings from Liverpool-based companies for tour consideration. With 10 venues from 4 cities already signed-up, Unity wish to expand the number of venues, festivals and freelance producers involved in this pilot and accessing the work.

The commitment is small. There is no cost to sign-up to the Programmers Portal – all we ask if you complete a survey at the end of the year. You will then receive unique log-in details that will let you access the full library.

The long-term ambition is to expand the Merseyside-pilot into a national portal for cross-city collaboration.

If you are interested in accessing the pilot portal, please contact rachaelwelsh@unitytheatre.co.uk

Unity are grateful to Arts Council England for funds secured in their Emergency Funding to allow us to offer the professional recording of work at our venue, and to Esmée Fairbairn Foundation who generously support Creative’pool and allow us to support local artists.