A staged reading of a brand new Norfolk-based play launches an innovative partnership between Norwich Theatre and University of East Anglia (UEA), which will develop new work and retain creative talent in the East of England.
Incubate is the latest initiative combining the best practice of higher education and professional theatre and enabling a supportive transition between UEA and Norwich Theatre for graduates.
The project is open to all creative alumni of UEA. The creatives are chosen from those who apply for their exceptional promise and dedication to developing their craft. As Incubate Artists, the writers submit a work-in-progress script, are supported through its development by a professional team of actors and creatives at Norwich Theatre, culminating in a showing to a public audience at Stage Two.
This pilot year for the project begins this month with a staged-reading of a new play from the first Incubate Artist, Madeleine Accalia. Love Me Before I Go is set in Norfolk, and sees Jessie, a young show person from a travelling fair, meet Mary, a survivalist. They are both trespassing on the local Earl’s estate. As night draws in, their lives unravel and uncomfortable truths surface. They are forced to reckon with what they really want, and the lengths they will go to get it.
The play is directed by UEA Alumni, Molly Harris Farley. The performance takes place on Saturday 20 November and is a ‘Pay what you Choose’ event, with all ticket proceeds supporting the development of future Incubate artists.
Creative Programs Director at Norwich Theatre, Wendy Ellis said: “We are delighted to support this latest development in our partnership with UEA. Opportunities such as Incubate are vital in ensuring we provide cohesive and relevant pathways that enable theatre making talent to grow and sustain in Norfolk. Norwich Theatre is committed to supporting the local theatre arts ecology and enabling platforms for new voices to be heard through performance.”
Incubate is co-funded by UEA and Norwich Theatre, with its first round generously supported by the Associate Dean for Innovation Fund. Writers benefit from support and mentoring from the project’s dramaturg, playwright and novelist, Antoinette Moses.
Norwich Theatre’s artist development lead, Jez Pike said: “UEA and Norwich Theatre bring to this project shared values: a belief that new talent should be backed, and that the best ideas emerge collaboratively. Incubate gives early playwrights what they need to grow: space, time and support. By having early-career artists resident in our building, Norwich Theatre is also growing as a creative hub. Their talent and ambition is tremendously exciting.”
Mike Bernardin, Lecturer in Drama & Course Director, MA Theatre Directing said: “This month’s launch of Incubate is a wonderful landmark: the first of many new pieces of theatre to be developed in this way. UEA alumni and staff have a terrific partnership with Norwich Theatre, who are demonstrating a fantastic commitment to early career artists.”