Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Monday, 2 February 2015

First Bite is back! - Opportunity for Theatre Makers

First Bite 2015 application pack


The First Bite Festival

Produced by

China Plate

Commissioned by

mac birmingham and Warwick Arts Centre

Supported by


and In Good Company/Derby Theatre

The First Bite Festival is a day of eclectic extracts and ideas from some of the region’s

most exciting theatre makers.

We are looking for submissions from collaborative theatre makers from across the Midlands to take part in

a festival of scratch performance on the 2

nd May 2015 at mac birmingham (www.macbirmingham.co.uk)

First Bite provides a unique opportunity for artists and companies to develop and perform new ideas in a

supportive and nurturing environment, to an engaged audience of theatregoers and regional industry

professionals. The festival operates an open-access application process and for the first time is seeking

applications from theatre makers based in the West AND East Midlands. All artists presenting work will be

paid a fee and two of the programmed companies will go on to receive a commission of £3,000 to

develop the work and to present it at its next stage, alongside a showcase of new performance work,

during Bite Size at

Warwick Arts Centre (http://www.warwickartscentre.co.uk) in November 2015.

Following Bite Size, the commissioned projects will be showcased in the South East region in partnership


greenhouse (www.housetheatre.org.uk)

First Bite and Bite Size Festivals

The First Bite and Bite Size programmes are designed to support theatre companies from the Midlands

making work through a collaborative process.

First Bite 2015

is a daylong festival providing a platform for new work in progress from theatre makers

based in the Midlands. Ten participating companies will present a performed pitch on 2 May 2015 to an

audience including the Bite Size partners:

China Plate, Warwick Arts Centre, mac birmingham and



From these extracts of work in development, two companies will be commissioned to take their piece to

the next stage for Bite Size in November 2015. The two selected companies will each receive a £3,000

commission plus two supported development weeks (one at

mac birmingham and one at Warwick Arts


and producing support from China Plate.

Previous Bite Size commissions include:

Caroline Horton –

You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy

Touring since 2010 and seen by over 10,000 people. Winner of The Stage Best Solo Performer Award and

nominated for an OFFIE and Olivier Award.

Untied Artists –

For Their Own Good and Al Bowlly’s Croon Manifesto

Two UK tours and a run in Edinburgh as part of The British Council Showcase. Winner of a 2013 Fringe First


Babakas –

Our Fathers

A run at Summerhall during Edinburgh 2013 and touring nationally and internationally since 2012 inc.

Beirut and Athens.


Bite Size 2015

is a daylong showcase for theatre makers from across the Midlands. The festival takes place

on 7th November 2015 at

Warwick Arts Centre and will platform the two commissioned companies’ work

alongside the pick of work available in the region.

Slots in the Bite Size programme will be reserved for a selected number of regional companies to perform

excerpts of work currently in development and a slot for up to two pieces from our partner


Your First Bite Performance Pitch

Companies are invited to submit proposals for a

10-20 minute performance that pitches their show to the

panel and audience. This performance can take any format and can be for a brand new piece of work

or for a piece of work currently in development. Participating companies will be selected on the strength

of their pitch as an experience for the audience at the event as well as on the strength of the


The nature of the opportunity is to raise your company’s profile and to increase touring opportunities

outside of the region, with this in mind work should be suitable for national touring.

The Venue

First Bite will take place at

mac birmingham and work will be programmed in the Theatre and the Foyle

Studio throughout the day. Tech specs for each space can be found here:


Once the full programme is finalised

China Plate will allocate a space to each selected company,

however, if you have a strong preference for either The Theatre or The Foyle Studio please state this in

your application – although we cannot guarantee that everyone will get their first choice. Please also let

us know if you propose to use one of the public spaces at

mac birmingham for your performance – for

example siting your work in a foyer space or bar.

Lighting, sound and projection resources will be strictly limited in both spaces (with short get-in times) and

applicants should not rely upon complex technical support. There will be a limited amount of rehearsal

time available at

mac birmingham in the week preceding the festival (subject to availability).

Financial Support

All companies invited to perform a pitch at First Bite will receive a fee of £200 to cover their expenses.

The two selected companies will each receive a commission of £3,000 to include two fully supported

development weeks at

mac birmingham and Warwick Arts Centre. China Plate will act as producing,

development and creative mentors for the commissioned companies during this period.

For more information please visit


How to Apply

Before applying please read the above project information carefully.

Companies applying to present work must be available to develop the piece in time for Bite Size in

November 2015, including two development weeks at

mac birmingham and Warwick Arts Centre, and

be interested in working in a creative partnership with

China Plate should they be commissioned.

They must also be available for technical rehearsals at

mac birmingham on 1 May 2015 (TBC).


All partners share a commitment to inclusive practice, and particularly welcome applications from Deaf

and disabled producers/makers, and where possible, will assist in meeting additional access/support



Companies that take part in First Bite, but are not selected for commission, may still submit work for

consideration for Bite Size in November 2015.

If you are excited by the prospect of pitching a performance at First Bite and wish to apply, please send

the following information to

info@chinaplatetheatre.com by 13 March 2015.

1) Company details (inc: company name, contact name, postal address, website, email and


2) The title of your piece and the number of artists involved

3) A brief company history - inc any images or footage you may have of previous productions (max

200 words)

4) A description of what you would like to show at First Bite (max 250 words)

5) The work’s current stage of development (max 200 words)

[Including any plans or capacity for future touring of the final piece]

6) Concise technical requirements

7) Marketing copy (max 100 words)

8) Any press quotes (max 100 words)


th March 2015 @ 6pm

Successful companies will be notified by 27

th March 2015


For more information email iain@chinaplatetheatre.com

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