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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Mechanisms For Remembering

Jerry Killick in WHERE FROM HERE (2000). Photo: Rob Hardy

Next week I’ll be attending the Memory Studies Association’s Annual Conference in Madrid, as part of the Performance and Memory Working Group. Memory as a theme and tool has been woven into Third Angel’s work from the start, so I’m looking forward to hearing wider thematic discussion of this area.

I’ll be running a workshop there on Tuesday 25th June, titled Mechanisms For Remembering. This is how we’ve described it:

How do we remember? How do we find and tell memories? How might memories become performance?
A workshop demonstrating techniques designed to allow participants to access memories, and draw on those memories to tell their own stories, in a safe space, and without feeling the pressure of coming up with ‘good material.’ Exercises that allow participants to be both an expert in their own experience, and also be ‘put on the spot’ and so re-discover memories that are not just the stories we always tell.
The workshop draws on exercises developed for the creation of a number of Third Angel shows, in particular Senseless (1998), Where From Here (2000), The Lad Lit Project (2005). These performances all draw on personal memories and, to a greater or lesser extent, reflect on the nature of memory, and how we re-tell memories of the past as a way of constructing our identities in the present. 

If you’re at the Conference, the workshop is free to attend. You don’t need to have any performance experience - it will be very much conversation led.
Mechanisms For Remembering
1-3pm, 25 June
Complutense University
Building A, Hall, Floor 2. 

You can just turn up on the day, or contact me to reserve a place.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

BOOST: Our new mentoring scheme

We’ve just launched BOOST, our funded mentoring scheme for 2019, offering time, space, money and expertise for artists and companies making contemporary theatre and live art. There are two main strands: Artistic Practice and Producing Your Own Work.

Some of you might have applied to TAMS (Third Angel’s Mentoring Scheme) in previous years; BOOST is replacing this and one major difference this year is that there are two separate application forms for the Artistic Practice and Producing. You can apply for both, but to make the schemes as bespoke as possible we need to ask you different questions for each.

For BOOST Your Artistic Practice we are looking for four artists or companies who devise their own work and create theatre or live art. We can support you through three days of Rachael or Alex’s time as a mentor, be that as an outside eye, dramaturg or co-deviser, a week’s rehearsal space with our partners Sheffield Theatres in either the Lyceum Theatre or the Crucible rehearsal rooms, and a fee. 

Yolanda Mercy, 2017 Mentee

Yolanda Mercy, 2016 Mentee

We want to support artists to make the work they want to make, and we want to work with them to find the best way of doing this on an individual basis. However, we’ve also been doing this a while now, so we also want to support projects that can make use of our experience and expertise. So, over the last few years, this is what we’ve learned about applying to the scheme:

  • Apply with the show or project you really want to make next - don’t try to come up with something to ‘fit’ the scheme.
  • We are looking for projects that are created primarily through devising. That isn’t to say the shows can’t have text or can’t be written.
  • We’re looking for projects that are ready to use a rehearsal room, to try out writing with performers, to start to improvise text, or to start to find the physical score of the work or the frame of the show.
  • We’re interested in supporting projects at any stage of their development, except the very start. If you still need to go and do the research (interview members of the community, meet a scientist, spend a week in the library/on the internet), then you’re not quite ready to apply this year.
  • We are looking for work that we feel we can contribute to in some way and be useful; work where a meaningful dialogue can take place between us and the mentee.
  • We’re interested in fiction, autobiography, documentary, verbatim, task-based, visually-led performance and live art. We run devising processes that utilise rule-based exercises to enable performers to create material for shows so they have ownership of, and investment in, that material in performance. Processes that involve devising, task-based improvisation, discussion, writing, making more material than will be used in the final show and editing. We would like to share this approach with you, but also remix and refine it so that it works for your project.
  • We can’t provide extra performers or actors, although we can sometimes help you find workshop participants if that would be useful.
  • If you would like to share some of your work at the end of the week we can facilitate that, but it is not a requirement of the scheme.

To apply for BOOST Your Artistic Practice, click here for the application pack

Callum Berridge, 2018 mentee

BOOST Your Producing is a free two-day workshop providing production and career-focused information and support, including company structures, financial management and budgeting, funding, working with venues, professional development opportunities. It aims to support artists and companies who find themselves needing, or desiring, to produce their own shows, projects, tours. This is where our expertise and experience lies – all of our work is produced in-house. We have an Executive Producer, Hilary Foster, who leads on this, and all members of the team are involved in producing projects to a greater or lesser extent. So these two days are aimed at artists/companies in a similar position, rather than freelance producers who want to work with multiple artists (though they might find them interesting and useful). BOOST Your Producing is designed primarily, but not exclusively, at those at the beginning of their theatre making professional lives.

If you’d like to BOOST Your Producing, here’s the application form.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Introducing our 2019 Intern

Third Angel’s paid internship programme is one of my favourite things of all we’ve been able to do since becoming a National Portfolio Organisation in 2015. It’s also one of the most bittersweet. We routinely get 40+ applications from passionate, articulate, capable people wanting to get into arts admin and producing, and we can only hire one. As a very small team, we get to know our intern really well, see them challenged by some things, excel at others, learn, grow, gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, discover love for things they never thought they’d enjoy, which is all SO brilliant to be part of. And then, after 18 months, we have to say goodbye and start all over again! 

And it’s that time again. We’re delighted to be able to introduce you to our wonderful 2019-20 intern Sam Turner. 

I’m Sam, and I’m delighted to introduce myself as Third Angel’s fourth Intern.
I’ve followed Third Angel’s work since moving to Sheffield in 2014 and I’ve greatly valued volunteering with the company to support my development as a theatre-maker; I’ve got stuck into various creative projects and roles – from stage management to painting a giant map of the world.

A little about me:
I’ve enjoyed making a range of creative work in Sheffield’s diverse art scene and involving myself with theatres, festivals and artists. I enjoy contemporary performance, supporting fun projects and encouraging others to engage with creativity. I love logistics, creative discussion and drinking a lot of coffee in the process. I’ve supported new writing and produced work for venues and festivals across the country – from Edinburgh to an outdoor production at a beer festival in rural Suffolk.
Since graduating in English and Theatre last July, I have enjoyed working hard as Theatre Deli’s Front of House Manager and managing creative projects freelance; my last endeavour was an immersive production of A Christmas Carol which included a two-course meal.
The Administration and Production Internship appealed to me for offering an opportunity to develop my skills and confidence within arts management – a rare opening. I’m looking forward to working with a small (but mighty) team to support important creative work and develop a multitude of skills. I’m thankful for the opportunity to find my pathway and pursue my career ambitions, with support from the Third Angel team. Working with Sarah has given me an insight into the attributes I can develop and has revealed how integral the Intern role is to Third Angel’s smooth running. I feel ready for the challenge and I wish Sarah the very best with her next adventure.
I’ve enjoyed my first few weeks in the office and I’m looking forward to undertaking many exciting challenges over the next eighteen months. I’ll be working part-time hours with Third Angel and I’m actively looking for other interesting projects to engage with, in Sheffield and beyond.”

And now to bid a very fond farewell to the equally marvellous Sarah Webb, who’s seen us through some exciting and challenging times, in particular shouldering big responsibilities on our large-scale show with young people, Inherited Cites, and taking our free workshop programme Future Makers to new heights. And we wish her all the very best for the future, which we know will be stellar. 

“Well, that was a busy 18 months. I might need another 18 to attempt to summarise them. This has been an internship of blood (don’t worry, just paper cuts and the like), sweat, tears and laughter - and I wouldn’t change a thing! The experience has been a highly active springboard to developing new (and underused) skills, and ultimately setting me up for the next step in arts management. And now that’s what I’m about to do. The time has come for me to (reluctantly) leave the Third Angel team, but lucky me, I’m moving over to yet another great arts organisation. I’ll soon be starting as Unlimited Theatre’s General and Finance Administrator. On top of this, I’ll also be working with Harland Works on an exciting new project, and if that wasn’t enough, I’m lending a hand on the opening tour of S.H.E.D. this summer!
Before I go, I just want to say the BIGGEST thank you to Third Angel for welcoming me to the family. What sets this internship out from the rest (though there’s not many out there for aspiring arts managers) is the amount of time and energy that that each member of the team invested into ensuring my time with them was as varied, enlightening, rewarding and challenging as possible. I’m eternally grateful and vow to make it worth their while! I hope they don’t miss the sound of me crunching away on packs of crisps in the office too much…”

Nope, nothing in my eye, probably just early hayfever…


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Podcast: The Department of Distractions

Back in January we did an interview with Keir Shields at Sheffield Theatres, to discuss The Department of Distractions and other Third Angel projects. The Department arrives at Theatre Royal Plymouth next week, 24 - 27 April.

Big thanks to Keir for making this. Here it is:

The Administration & Production intern has become an essential part of the Third Angel machinery. We established this role in 2015 in response to the fact that there were a growing number of development opportunities for aspiring artists and performers, but very few paid opportunities for the next generation of arts managers to hone their skills. The initiative has been so successful that we are now looking to recruit our fourth intern and we’re keen to hear from anyone in the early stages of their arts management career about how this opportunity could help them achieve their aims.

The Administration & Production Assistant (to give them their proper title) works with our General Manager and Executive Producer on every aspect of running a small touring theatre company, from office management to marketing, from creative learning workshops to tour logistics, and everything in between. You’ll spend most of your time at the company office in Sheffield, but there will also be occasional opportunities to assist in the delivery of workshops, work with the creative team in rehearsal, and visit productions on the road.

We want you to leave us as prepared as possible to fly solo as an administrator or assistant producer, so we’ll agree a training schedule with you to build your skills and anticipate your future needs around business management, fundraising, marketing and project management.

This is what Sarah Webb, our current intern, has to say about the position:

“I’m Sarah, and I’m the lucky individual who was chosen to become Third Angel’s Admin & Production Assistant back in Summer 2017. This blog post would have reached you all sooner, but they’ve kept me busy. I’m the third round of the internship scheme; you might say I’m the ‘Third Angel’ (har har), though I’ve had two stellar predecessors, Liz & Ellie, who set the bar high for me and have moved on to pursue exciting careers.
“I clearly remember writing my application for the post and passionately thanking Third Angel for offering such a valuable and rare opportunity for young professionals to explore arts administration and production within a thriving company – fast forward to my last few months with the team and my thankfulness is through the roof. At the core, Third Angel is a small theatre company with just five employees (I’m the only full-time member of staff), but you wouldn’t guess that by looking at the number of projects we’re working on at any one time. Working in a small team makes for a rich experience and I’ve gained and developed an unbelievable multitude of skills. For those of you looking to find out what a normal day in the office might look like, I hate to burst that balloon, but there’s no such thing. Every day is different, and I am continuously working on new and exciting challenges. The next intern will have a completely different experience to me and that’s what makes this opportunity so exciting.”

There are two changes with this round of the internship, firstly we have extended the length of the post to 18 months to enable the postholder to experience a full annual business cycle and get opportunity to do some tasks more than once. Secondly, we’re currently advertising the post as 4 days per week, but we are actively seeking funding to extend this to full time (35 hours per week). The post is paid at Living Wage Foundation rates.

If you’re considering an application, here’s a few helpful tips to get you started:

  • Remember that we have had over 60 applications on previous occasions, anyone who cannot show that they meet EVERY ONE of the essential criteria is very unlikely to be shortlisted.
  • Make sure you have taken time to tell us HOW you meet each one of the points of the essential criteria, and as many of the desirable criteria you can – give examples. Don’t assume that this will be obvious to us from reading your employment or education history, make it absolutely clear. However, there is no need to write pages and pages – bullet points and concise sentences are much more effective, especially when we have lots of applications to look at.
  • Where we have asked for specific experience, we mean this in the broadest sense, not just employment experience. You could use examples from your hobbies, voluntary work, social life, family or school / college / university to demonstrate that you understand what skills are likely to be needed and have dipped your toe in.
  • Attention to detail is important, as it is our first indication that you have got what it takes to do the job! Use a spell check, make sure you have completed ALL the required forms, follow the instructions to the letter!

The closing date for applications is 2pm on Friday 1st February and interviews will be held on Tuesday 19th February. Unfortunately, we’re unable to be flexible on the interview date so please ensure you would be able to attend on that date. We’re hoping that the new intern would be able to start with us in the last week of March to allow handover whilst Sarah is still with us.

You can download the application pack here. If you have any questions please email us on or if it would be helpful to have an informal chat you can call us on 0114 274 4974 and ask for Laura (our General Manager) or Hilary (Executive Producer).

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