Virtual Collaborators was founded in March 2020 by Danusia Samal as a response to the closure of the UK theatre industry due to COVID-19. Over the course of April and May, Danusia organised teams of one writer, one actor and one director to create a new piece of theatre under lockdown conditions. Over 50 creatives were involved.
Co-produced by Olivia Munk of Part of the Main Productions and Danusia Samal of the Virtual Collaborators Network, the Virtual Collaborators Festival will take place from August 17-31 2020 to support and inspire artists to explore what is possible within the constraints that coronavirus has imposed on the arts. The Festival will sort up to 100 participants into groups of 1 director, 1 writer, and 1-2 actors.
Participants will be challenged to create socially distanced films, audio dramas, Zoom plays, and, should government and venue guidelines allow, socially distanced live theatre. Performances will be streamed, publicised, and take place live between August 17-31.
The Virtual Collaborator Festival is collaborating with The Space, Theatre 503, Shoreditch Town Hall, Little Door, Coney, Balloon Entertainment, the Finborough Theatre, the Guardian, and Nick Hern Books to support participants through masterclasses, venue space, industry guidance, and publicity.
Masterclasses will be delivered over Zoom, and will be available to all participants free of charge.
Application Opens – July 1, 10 AM
Application Closes – Extended to July 10, 2020
All applicants are informed of the outcome of their application no later than July 12.
Online Orientation – July 15
Digital masterclasses – July 20-August 16
Festival Launch – August 17
Festival End – August 31
- Applicants of all disciplines and experiences are welcome to apply. All participants must be based in the United Kingdom and aged 18 years or older.
- They are most interested in supporting:
-Emerging artists who have had difficulty creating and/or finding an audience for their work due to COVID-19
-People who have left the arts and are interested in returning to creative work
-Artists who are interested in exploring a new role within theatre, e.g. an actor who wants to try directing, performers who want to try writing, etc.
-Black, Asian, Indigenous, Disabled, Neurodiverse, LGBTQ+, Working Class, Migrant, and Refugee artists, as well as other artists from communities frequently underrepresented/marginalised in the arts