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IMMERSIVE THEATRE ENVIRONMENT DESIGNER/MAKER – TENDER OPPORTUNITY for The Box, Stoke-on-Trent Context The Box is a new collaboration between Stoke-on-Trent Libraries and B Arts aimed at 9-13 year olds and their families and funded by Arts Council England. Part-theatre piece, part digital workspace, it will tour libraries and other venues in Stoke-on-Trent over the next three years and will consist of two inter-related elements: The Box – a short theatre performance for one person at a time, based on an existing story that takes place in a specially-built environment. This will run on a drop-in basis during library opening hours. The Playbox – an area for reading and writing. Sofas, digital tools such as i-pads and print on demand will combine to enable participants to make their own creative responses and reflections on the story they have experienced. Young people will be able to stay and create for ten minutes or two hours. The aim is to attract young people into libraries, enable them to experience a high-quality arts activity based on ‘the power of the word’ and to reflect on it and shape their own artistic responses, and to start their lifelong reading journey and library habit. Stoke-on-Trent Libraries are working with local arts partner B Arts Ltd to manage the project. The target age-range is 9-13, with a wider accessibility for families. Commission Aim To design and make an immersive theatre experience, encompassing a portable built environment and other equipment such a recorded sound, lighting etc as necessary to the realisation of the narrative for a solo audience member. THE OPPORTUNITY To design and deliver the immersive theatre experience, based on the narrative created by the Young People’s Writer and enabling a solo audience member to have a 5-10 minute experience where they are both protagonist and audience. The environment should be: •

Portable within the transport and venue constraints set out in the Appendix (eg van size, door heights, location sizes etc). These will be developed in more detail during the library visits on the Development Lab.

Able to be put up and taken down safely by non-theatre staff (eg librarians, residency leaders).

Operable by one individual acting as guide and introducer.


Suitable for young people aged 9-13 and a wider family audience

It should also extend in look and feel (eg via furniture, work surfaces) into an area after the show finishes where participants will engage with a variety of digital tools to make personal and creative responses.

FEES AND BUDGETS For design and making of environment, participation in testing and reworking as necessary: a fee of £5950 inclusive of all travel to Stoke-on-Trent and accommodation as required for the fulfilment of the commission. There is a separate production budget of £7000 Both budgets are inclusive of any applicable VAT. LOCATION The Immersive Theatre Environment Designer/Maker is required for the Development Lab taking place 28-30 January 2014 in Stoke-on-Trent, residencies in libraries with young people and other meetings set out in the schedule of activities that will take place in Stoke-on-Trent. THE CREATIVE TEAM Responsible To: B Arts Project Manager on behalf of B Arts and Stoke-on-Trent Library Service Works With: Young People’s Writer Digital Media Artist Though each artist (Young People’s Writer, Digital Media Artist, Immersive Theatre Environment Designer/Maker) has a distinct area of responsibility, we expect all three to work together in Stoke-on-Trent with the B Arts Creative Director to fulfil all aspects of the project. OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES Manage the production budget for the immersive theatre design and production (in consultation with the B Arts Creative Director) Attend the test residency in library week and participate in the rework period, reworking the environment as necessary to implement the findings of the test week. Attend the first full library residency week.


Attend the reflection and training activities at the end of Year One. SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES Jan 28-30 2014 Participate in Development Lab to visit libraries, talk to young people and library staff and develop ideas for The Box with the Young People’s Writer, Digital Media Artist and B Arts Creative Director. Feb-March 2014 Development of the narrative and building of the immersive theatre environment and the reflective activities with the B Arts project director and the other members of the creative team. April 2014 (Easter) Test week in which the environment and activities are field tested with young people in a library. May 2014 Reworking of all elements of the project following trials ready for first ‘full residency’ in the May half-term. November 2014 Participate in reflection day with other artists and project staff (eg librarians, B Arts staff) in preparation for Year Two of project. Participate in training (2 days) (focusing on engaging young people in the activities following their experience in the immersive theatre environment). Required Experience: Theatre design and production experience or equivalent, particularly in designing immersive theatre environments Touring design experience, particularly in work for non-traditional, street and festival venues. Familiarity with multi-media and digital work. APPLICATION PROCESS WHO CAN APPLY? We are open to applications from individuals, partnerships or organisations from any discipline. You may decide that you can head up a team of sub-contractors who can work for you to fulfill the brief – please include their details in your response. We are open to joint applications for individuals or organisations who


feel they can fulfill both this brief and the Digital Media Artist brief. Please contact us via the means below if you wish to discuss this further. APPLICATION PROCESS Please send a CV, examples or links to your work, the names and contact details for two referees, and an initial response to the brief that is no more that two sides of A4 to the address below. You may include other material (eg visuals) you feel is relevant but the entire submission should not exceed 15 pages of A4. Please confirm that you are available for interview, if selected, and the Development Lab dates. info@b-arts.org.uk B Arts Ltd. 19 The Barracks Barracks Road Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 1LG If you have any queries please contact Trevelyan Wright, Project Manager, at the above e-mail (marked clearly for his attention) or on 01782 717326. Closing Date: Monday 9 December 2013 at 5:00pm Interviews to be held on Thursday 19 December 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent. www.b-arts.org.uk


Immersive theatre designer maker brief