Call for Artists – First Art ‘POOR OLD HORSE’ Theatre commission (£4,500 commission, Dronfield)

First Art are working in partnership with The Dronfield Heritage Trust to deliver the Poor Old Horse project, an exciting theatre commission based on a local folk tradition we are keen to revive. In years gone by a group of performers would visit private houses and pubs each year around Christmas to collect money for local charities, performing and singing the traditional tale.

They would like to bring the folk tale up to date but want to include many of the traditional elements too, including an established song. We have also recently made a new horse!

The new play will need to be adaptable so it can be performed in a variety of spaces and timescales. It should also be versatile so that it can be performed as a promenade and as a static performance.

The project will engage a group of young people who will contribute to all aspects of the project. We also want to involve residents of local care homes, some of who suffer from dementia.

Three dates have been confirmed for the new play to be performed. They are:

  • 3rd September – See Off The Summer Festival Bolsover
  • 10th September – See Off The Summer Festival Mansfield
  • 2nd December – Dronfield Winter Festival

N.B The performance will also be filmed so that it can become an online resource to increase the audience.

There may also be the potential to tour the play to community venues across the wider First Art area. If this happens there will be additional budget available.

They are looking for applications from writers with experience in this field, who can work successfully with young people and the elderly. Together you will create a performance rooted in tradition with a contemporary twist that will become a legacy from First Art for the people of Dronfield. You will have the skills to take an idea and interpret our vision.

Requirements of the contract:

  • You will visit the care homes with the young people and talk to residents to research and explore local stories using the Dronfield Heritage Trust’s online archive as an engagement tool.
  • You will work with the young people to develop the story and the performance.
  • You will take responsibility for all aspects of the performance including rehearsals, costume, music and direction.
  • You will be available on the dates given for the performances.
  • You will provide the Dronfield Heritage Trust with a script and anything else required to enable them to continue to perform this play long into the future.


Essential skills and experience:

  • You will have experience of working with young people.
  • You will also have experience working with the elderly and people with dementia.
  • You will have experience of successfully delivering participatory arts projects.
  • You will be an experienced performing arts practitioner including writing and producing plays.
  • A current DBS certificate
  • Public Liability for £5 million


  • Knowledge of the Dronfield area.

What to submit:  Please send an up-to-date CV with a statement of interest outlining how you propose to deliver the work in no more than 2 sides of A4.

Please also include:

  • Any relevant experience in this area: i.e. story telling and performance
  • Your experience working with young people and the elderly dementia suffers
  • Your current DBS status
  • Two referees
  • Your PLI document

How to apply:  To submit your application or if you have any questions contact Jane Wells, First Art Creative Producer: or tel: 01246 209219.

(For more information about the history of the Poor Old Horse – to support your application – email

Budget/Project fee:  The budget for this commission is £4,500.

All inclusive of travel, materials, props and costumes and all other costs relating to the performance. The budget excludes room hire; this will be covered by the Dronfield Heritage Trust.

Deadline:  8 May 2016

Source:  Word of mouth

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