FAQS - Unity Theatre

Welcome to ProPortal. Below we have answered some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered below, please email proportal@unitytheatre.co.uk

About ProPortal

What is ProPortal?

ProPortal, at its simplest, is an online library of performances currently available for tour and archive recordings from artists currently available for commission.

Why has ProPortal been created?

The main aim of ProPortal is to tackle financial, practical and access barriers in place for many brilliant artists who struggle to connect with programmers and subsequently get their shows on touring circuits and festivals.

Who can register to use the website?

ProPortal is available to be used by artists, producers, programmers, and theatres that wish to showcase creatives from their own talent development networks.

Programmers and Producers: The portal dashboard itself will only be available to programmers and producers, who will be manually verified to ensure privacy of artists work.

Artists: Artists will be able to submit work to be exhibited on the website by using a simple form. You can find out more about criteria for exhibition below.

Talent Development Networks: We’re keen to hear from Talent Development networks across the UK who are doing brilliant work cultivating, supporting and sharing new voices from their home cities, just as Unity are doing with Liverpool.

Who can exhibit on the portal?

Artists who meet all of the following criteria may submit their work for exhibition on the portal:

  • You have work(s) available for tour booking or online exhibition (online, in venue or outdoor)
  • You have a quality recording of the work that is available for tour (this can be a scratch performance and does not need to be on professional equiptment so long as the quality of the recording is clear and the visual and audio are accessible).
  • The work adheres to industry standards regarding worker rights, music licensing and safeguarding
  • The work is not harmful, derogatory or discriminatory
  • A company/artist wide commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.
  • The work does not need to be a ‘traditional’ performance. See below for genre criteria.

If you are an artist who has a recording of a previous show but not one currently available for tour, you may also submit this to be listed as “Artist Available for Commission”. By submitting for commission you are allowing programmers and producers to contact you for conversation based off your previous work, so ensure you are happy it represents your working practice now.

How does my work get uploaded and verified?

The purpose of the ProPortal is to make this as easy as possible for artists. There is a very short form, which can be accessed here, that you will be able to fill in. On this form you can submit any supporting documents, videos and links as well as core information for your listing.

This will then be assessed and uploaded by the ProPortal team at Unity.

You will then be contacted by Unity, who will inform you that your entry is now live.

We then encourage all artists to promote the portal and use it as a place to direct contacts to for finding out more about your work.

Please note, Unity may contact you for additional information if necessary. For example we may require a higher resolution image, or for you to amend your video settings to allow embedding.

How much does it cost to have your work exhibited?

It is completely free to have your work exhibited on ProPortal.

Who will be able to view my work?

Only those who have registered as programmers and producers will be able to access recordings and information relating to your work. There is a manual verification of programmers for added security. Your work will not enter public domain and is not at risk of being viewed by public.

How will I be contacted if somebody is interested in working with me / booking my show?

If a programmer or producer is interested in working with you, the email address or phone number provided by you will be used as contact details.

Unity will be sending out monthly newsletters promoting work uploaded.

How do I sign up as an artist/company?

The sign-up process is easy. Those that wish to use the portal simply need to complete a short sign-up form and then, if they meet the simple criteria for users, they will be able to submit work.

Who can sign-up to access the recordings library?

Programmers or producers working in the arts sector.

The recordings library will not be available to the wider public as this will be a registration only, closed service. The only people who will be able to access the recordings are those that have been approved as producers, programmers or theatres. Fellow artists who exhibit on the portal will not be able to access the library.

As a Programmer / Producer, how much does it cost to sign-up and view the work?

It is entirely free to sign up and view the work.

What kind of work can be viewed / uploaded to the portal?

The work on the portal will range from productions that are already touring to artists that wish to take their production to the next level to artists that wish to be commissioned but do not yet have a high-quality recording of their show.

In terms of genre there will be no limit. Shows will range from theatre, dance, outdoor art, digital performance, family work, comedy and more.

How do I sign-up as a programmer/producer?

A simple form on the ProPortal site.

Why does it require manual approval?

Manual approval is in place at this stage to ensure the legitimacy and standard of both the work on ProPortal and those that view it. The aim of ProPortal is not to have a free platform in which theatre lovers can binge-watch productions but to create a professional and supportive platform for work to be shared, appreciated, and commissioned.

How do I use it?

The website has been designed with simplicity in mind.

Once you have signed-up, it will take up to 2 working days for your account to be verified. Once verified you will receive and email with your log-in details. You are then ready to explore and enjoy!

Once you have logged in to the portal you will be able to search through the full library of work. Detailed search criteria has been created to allow you to find a show that suits your needs. The library can be filtered by genre, location, format, staging, availability for tour and accessible performance options, as well as additional community, education and artist development offers.

The portal also includes tour packs, technical information, a favouriting tool to support with shortlisting, a live Q&A calendar and contact button for users to speak directly with artists about their work.

There is also the option to favourite work, using the heart icon, which allows you to begin building shortlists. Your favourites will be saved to your personalised dashboard and will appear at the top when you log in.

If you have any questions at all, please email proportal@unitytheatre.co.uk

What makes this different to other online catalogues of work?

There are three primary distinctions between ProPortal and other online catalogues. It is not open to the wider public, there are no submission costs or usage costs of any kind and finally, it does not require artists to be part of a pre-existing curated programme.

How is it being funded?

ProPortal is being funded by Unity.

How will the website develop?

As the project develops we hope to introduce new features such as a scheduling software function that allows you to ‘drag and drop’ favourites into a festival planner, a series of live Q&As to replicate in-person sharing’s and new navigation features.