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rapid response 24

This is an urgent call to south Yorkshire based theatre and performance-makers…

… What does “Our Home” mean to you?

We invite theatre and performance-makers to propose imaginative responses to this question as part of a special event for Migration Matters festival, 21 June 2024.

who we are

Rapid Response is a collaboration between Ark Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Migration Matters Festival and Sheffield Theatres. It was initiated in 2023 to support artists in the development of new work that addresses the themes of climate and migration. The inaugural event in June 2023 featured scratch performances by Jeff Denya, Salome Hakunandaba, and Freya Maclean, with mentoring provided by Terry O'Connor (Forced Entertainment), John Rwothomack (Roots Mbili Theatre) and Mojisola Kareem-Elufowoju (Utopia Theatre). The sharing event was hosted at the Performance Lab by Tommi Bryson (Talent Development, Sheffield Theatres). 


Rapid Response (2023) at the Performance Lab, Sheffield Hallam University. Left to right, Tommi Bryson, Salome Hakunandaba, Freya Maclean and Jeff Denya. Photograph by Becky Payne.

what we're looking for

We’re seeking ‘rapid responses’ that connect with the themes of climate and migration. We want to seed fund new ideas that have the potential to be developed further, elsewhere, and in other contexts. Proposals should be achievable within a short period of Research & Development commencing in the week beginning 10 June. Selected contributors should be available to share the outcomes of their work as part of an informal sharing event on 21 June.


Each project will receive:


  • £300 to support the development of their scratch performance. 

  • Access to rehearsal space at The Bank, Sheffield Theatres (10-20 June)

  • Bespoke support from a specially selected industry mentor.

  • limited technical support on the day of the scratch presentation. This might include simple lighting, use of a PA, and projection.

  • The opportunity to share their work with a public audience as part of Migration Matters Festival and take part in a talk back discussion with Tommi Bryson (Talent Development Coordinator, Sheffield Theatres).

  • Professional photographic documentation of your work. 


Applicants should:

  • Articulate their idea and outline how it links to the themes of Rapid Response.

  • Provide a basic plan for how you intend to work.

  • Give consideration to how you might promote your activity through social media.

  • Utilise a DIY approach and work with whatever is close to hand.

  • Work independently and manage the project within the given budget and the specific timescales of the R&D.


The sharing event space is to be confirmed. 


Deadline for proposals: 17:00 Friday 26 April

Initial conversations with shortlisted artists: Friday 3 May

Artists confirmed: 7 May

R&D Period: 10-20 June

Sharing event: 21 June


We especially encourage applications from candidates with lived experience of migration, displacement and seeking sanctuary.

about ark sheffield

ark sheffield is a citywide conversation about the climate crisis. It was launched in 2022 with Sheffield Theatres' for Together in the City. How is an ark a way of talking about the climate crisis? The story of people creating a boat to save themselves from a flood resonates across cultures and histories, past and present. In our time of unprecedented climate emergency, the flood is not the same for all people. For some, it is sea level rise. For others, it could be economic uncertainty or displacement. It could be many things... 

Ark Sheffield for Together in the City, Sheffield Theatres (2023). Photography by Becky Payne.

about migration matters festival

Migration Matters Festival is a 9-day annual celebration of sanctuary, cultural identity and migration in Sheffield. It is the largest Refugee Week festival in hosting up to 60 events each year providing platforms to underrepresented communities particularly people with lived experience of displacement, seeking asylum and forced migration.

about the making room at sheffield theatres

The Making Room offers a supportive network and development opportunities for artists based in Sheffield and the surrounding areas, and promotes the provision of artist development within South Yorkshire. The Making Room opportunities are for over 18s who are currently working, or are looking to work professionally in the arts industry. 

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© ark sheffield 2023

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