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.

What is it?

  • The Programmers Portal is an online library of performance and live art. Programmers at venues and festivals across the UK will be able to access private, high-quality recordings of company work through a new YouTube-style platform. As well as the recordings, the library will also include company biographies, tour packs, press cuttings and technical riders.
  • 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.

Why have we created the Programmers Portal?

  • Artist Profiling – It is expensive for artists and companies to exhibit work at national festivals, which are often considered the best place to garner national profile and book tours. The Programmers Portal is free resource for artists to exhibit their work on, getting it directly in front of decision makers.
  • Access to more work – Last train times, long working hours and budget restrictions mean it is costly for programmers and producers to attend festivals, press events and industry sharing’s outside their city of residence. When you add COVID restrictions into the mix, discovering new voices and stories from across the UK only gets more difficult. The Programmers Portal brings new, exciting and diverse voices directly to you.
  • Easy Information Sharing – The portal is designed for easy information sharing, event viewing and shortlisting. As well as being able to filter by location, runtime, company size and date availability, programmers can also search by genre, key words, accessible performance options and additional community, education and artist development packages. There will also be a live, online events calendar for users to hear directly from artists about their work and have any questions answered.

  • Sustainability – The project is part of Unity’s green agenda and a wider-industry effort to lower carbon-emissions.
  • Collaboration: Unity are lining up some exciting partners across the UK, who will curate and exhibit work available to tour from their networks. By offering a wide-range of work from established companies and venues across the UK, we’re able to provide a fuller picture of the exciting work available.

How does it work?

  • Programmers and Producers can sign-up for free and create their own user profile. They are then able to search the library by filters including genre, scale, availability for tour, accessible performance options, key words and additional community, education and artist development packages.
  • Programmers will be able to create their own profile with the option to favourite work for shortlisting, which will appear in a personalised dashboard.
  • Once signed-up, programmers will have access to the full library. They will receive a monthly newsletter with new uploads and upcoming Q&As.

What kind of work can be viewed on the portal?

  • In venue, online, outdoor and live art works all feature on the portal.
  • All works featured are available for booking.
  • The portal will include full-show recordings and scratch works from a wide-range of performance genres including theatre, dance, outdoor art, digital performance, comedy and more.

Get involved in the Summer 2021 Pilot:

Launching in summer 2021, the first-phase of the project will exhibit over 30 recordings from companies across the UK  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 pilot. You will then receive unique log-in details that will let you access the full library.

If you are interested in accessing the pilot portal, please contact



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.