Sheffield Theatres Launches a New Supported Artists Scheme as Their Creative Hub the Bank Opens Its Doors

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announces the fourteen artists, including writers, directors and producers, who will be supported by the company for the next 12 months. The artists will find a home in The Bank, a dedicated space for talent development, which opens today.

The supported artists will be offered bespoke support, training, artistic opportunities and professional development. The four directors are Hassun El Zafar, Nadia Emam, John Rwothomack and Elin Schofield who will enjoy a host of opportunities including working as an assistant director on a Sheffield Theatres’ production. Four producers – James Ashfield, Hannah Crawford, Alfie Heffer and Miriam Schechter – will receive seed funding to develop an idea, event or production using The Bank as their base, drawing on the support of the producing team at Sheffield Theatres. And six writers: Ella Hardy, Todd Heppenstall, John Hunter, Laura Lindsay, Kat Rose Martin and Tim Norwood will benefit from monthly masterclasses and mentoring as well as having their work included in a showcase, read or performed by professional actors in front of an invited audience at The Bank.

Sarah Sharp has been appointed as Talent Development Coordinator, with a remit to curate the programme at The Bank, collaborate with the supported artists and connect with talented people across the city region. Sarah joins the company from HOME in Manchester where she is the Talent Development Producer.

Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres said: “There is a wealth of talent in our city and across our region and we’re passionate about providing meaningful support to nurture the next generation of artists and makers in the North.

“The Bank will be a dedicated space where our fourteen artists and talented people from across the region can create, explore ideas, develop and grow. I’m looking forward to seeing how the artistic community will breathe life into the space, how Sarah will curate the programme and the work that our supported artists will create over the next year.”

The Bank, which is located adjacent to the Crucible, will be a creative space for local artists and theatre makers to develop work, skills, collaborations and careers with the support of the staff and creative teams at Sheffield Theatres. Over the next 12 months, the fourteen supported artists will be based in The Bank where they will be able to access a Writers Room and library which offers a quiet space for artists to develop and write work, as well as a larger space for group work including research and development, rehearsals and scratch performances. The current Making Room workshop and talks programme which reaches a network of over 900 people, will move to The Bank in the spring.

The Bank, named in recognition of its previous incarnation as an actual bank as well as its future life as a place in which investment is made in talent, has been made possible thanks to a gift from long-standing supporters, Jo and Chris Hookway.

Writer Todd Heppenstall said: ‘I am hugely excited to be part of the first Bank Cohort. As a local artist, I feel Sheffield Theatres is the perfect partner for me to develop my work, and to be learning and working in my home town with one of the best theatres in the world is a real privilege, I cannot wait to get started!’

Director John Rworthomack said: ‘The Bank is an opportunity for the Sheffield theatre scene to broaden and develop, and for the creative future of the city to really blossom. I am so grateful to be a part of the pioneering group of this incredible initiative, which will offer artists such as myself a chance to grow and learn.’

Producer Hannah Crawford said: ‘I’ve always adored Sheffield’s ethos and programming. They’re making some of the best new work seen on UK stages right now, and The Bank will form an integral part of that melting pot of ideas to tell important and exciting stories for the very first time.’

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