Press Release: Unity announce first Open Call Programme for Local Artists to be a part of their Spring/Summer 2021 Season

Thursday, 3 December 2020

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Unity announce first Open Call Programme for Local Artists to be a part of their Spring/Summer 2021 Season

  • Today Unity announce their first ever Open Call Programme for Liverpool-based creatives to have their work supported by and staged at Unity, in the city or online.
  • Artists and companies will not only receive a set fee of up to £1250 for their performance but additional money for developing their application and refining their work.
  • Unity also announce open applications for a brand-new Online Commission of up to £3000, supporting an artist or company that is shielding.
  • Alongside the opportunity to perform, artist will also have their work professionally recorded for Unity’s new Programmers Portal. The first of its kind, this new website allows programmers, venues and festivals across the UK to access recordings from Merseyside creatives for tour consideration.
  • The Open Call programme will run for the entire season, providing as many opportunities as possible for local artists to receive income and perform their work.


Today Unity Theatre, Liverpool announce their first ever Open Call Programme. Running from February – May 2021, Unity are looking for local creatives to submit work for programming as their reopening season, celebrating the resilience, talent and quality of Liverpool’s creative community.

The call-out is open to a wide range of people and practices including theatre companies, performers, community practitioners, musicians, devisers, comedians, puppeteers, digital artists and spoken word artists. If you have a performance or creative experience you’d love to share with audiences or participants, Unity are keen to hear from you

Unity know that as a consequence of Covid-19 some D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled artists face unique and unprecedented additional challenges in maintaining their practice. For some this includes shielding. Therefore, they are also running an Open Call Commission of up to £3,000 to create a new piece of online work.

Today (Thursday 3rd December), round one of applications will open, where Unity will be seeking short expressions of interest for those interested in having their work staged in either their iconic venue in Liverpool, online or out in the city. Through a panel made up of Unity staff and partners, submissions will be shortlisted from Monday 4th January. Those who are selected will then receive £150 to develop their application further in Round Two. Whether applicants are chosen or not at this stage, this fee will allow you paid time to create an application that could be used elsewhere. Following this, the final programme line-up will be decided and announced by the end of January 2021.

Unity normally offers a variety of deals for artists, quite often related to box office income. However, with a socially distanced reduced capacity, ticket income won’t amount to much. Therefore, for work presented as part of the Open Call programme Unity are offering a guaranteed fee of up to £1,250 for events, plus additional technical and producing support for polishing work.

Finally, all chosen applicants – whether work is performed in venue, offsite or online – will have the opportunity for their work to be professionally recorded and uploaded to Unity’s first-of-its-kind Programmers Portal, which will be distributed to venues and festivals across the UK for tour consideration. Programmed applicants will also be provided the opportunity to have their work developed for live stream to ensure shielded audiences can still access performances.


Full information on the Open Call Programme can be found here.


Full information on the Programmer’s Portal can be found here.


Unity will also be hosting a Q&A zoom in mid-December to address any questions regarding submission. Details for this can be found here.