Barbican Theatre Open Lab 2020/2021

The Barbican Theatre’s Open Lab programme gives artists the opportunity to research and develop a new project, idea or performance.

This year, Open Lab will support the development of six innovative and experimental new works created to be experienced by audiences in a socially distanced manner, whether that’s a live performance or online. Rehearsal space at the Barbican Centre will be available to successful applicants subject to COVID-19 government safety guidance of the time.

They are offering:

  • An all-inclusive fee of £2,000
  • Online development sessions to support self-sustaining practise, this may include sessions from external partner organisations on fundraising, digital output and making accessible performance
  • Three in-house training sessions with Barbican staff members from departments beyond the Theatre of your choice such as marketing, fundraising, company development, digital content, creative learning and more
  • Three sessions with a mentor or coach selected by you to give bespoke guidance and advice on your project
  • A Barbican Theatre Producer for advice and support throughout the programme with whom you’ll have regular updates to discuss the progress of your project
  • Complimentary tickets for shows and events at the Barbican on an ad hoc basis and subject to availability
  • Additional funding for access requirements is available for successful applicants upon request


They are looking for submissions that develop and create:

New voices

They’re looking to support early to mid-career artists. They’re committed to nurturing and developing creative talents and voices from a multiplicity of backgrounds, practices and contexts and are particularly interested in hearing from people from ethnic minorities, including Black artists/Black-led theatre companies, LGBTQ+ artists/companies, and d/Deaf and disabled artists/companies.

New audiences

They aim to inspire more people to discover and access the arts. They’re looking to support socially engaged, pioneering work from a multitude of voices that reaches new audiences. Your project should be inclusive, rooted in community and explore the potential for people’s mental, physical and social wellbeing to be improved by participation and enjoyment of the arts.

New ideas

They want to support ambitious ideas to safely create and deliver work at the current time. They’d like you to consider how existing forms such as radio, podcast, audio trail, gaming, one on one performance and installation could be used in new ways to broaden the idea of what theatre or dance can be. They’re interested in work that reflects the Barbican’s artistic vision by crossing art forms and embracing innovation.

New challenges

If you’re ambitious, like challenging yourself as an artist and experimenting with new methods, they’d love to hear from you. They want to support you in developing new methodologies and approaches to collaboration during this time.



Deadline: Monday 12 October, 5pm

Published on:
14 Sep 2020


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