Ovalhouse accepting ideas for new commissions to mark WWI centenary

The Other 1914

To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, Ovalhouse will be commissioning two new plays for a 5 night performance.

The brief:

“You probably already know that 2014 is the centenary of the start of the First World War. In the first two months of the year, we’ve seen a host of artistic responses to the anniversary on stage and screen, from Oh What a Lovely War! at Theatre Royal Stratford East to schmaltzy enlistment montages in ITV’s Mr Selfridge.  Michael Gove has condemned the liberalisation of the historic narrative surrounding the war and has been condemned himself for glorifying the wanton sacrifice of so many lives. And it looks like we’re going to be having the same kinds of discussion for the next four years. And amidst all the kerfuffle, the majority of the dialogue is still focussed on the actions and outcomes of a small, exclusive minority. It feels like an important cultural acknowledgement to make; the loss of so many lives in the service of an ill-equipped elite. But in focussing in so tightly are we missing out on all the other stories from this period in world history? Are we continuing to perpetuate the misconception that history is only made by (rich) white men?”

This summer, Ovalhouse wants to tell the stories of The Other 1914. They want to commission two new pieces for their Downstairs Theatre that tell the unwritten histories from the year that changed the world forever. They can be stories about any part of the human experience, from anywhere in the world, they can be local or global, epic or domestic, but they must take true events as their starting point. Because this is about making a new history beyond the one we all know, they are more likely to shortlist pieces by and for people often excluded from the mainstream historical narrative. They want pieces that could work only as live performance. You might call it theatre, dance, live art or something else. Whiletheywant you to take inspiration from the events of 1914, they are particularly interested in audience experience and your creative ideas rather than a history lesson.

Your performance can be for an audience of anywhere between one and one hundred and they ask that writers think about how they might respond to their downstairs space. Applicants from artists at any stage in their career and from every background are encouraged.

Selected writers will get:

  • 1 week in a rehearsal room
  • 1 week in a fully equipped performance space
  • 5 public performances Tuesday – Saturday 10 hrs tech support
  • 40% box office takings (tickets £10/ £6)
  • Inclusion in Ovalhouse brochure Admin space and marketing support £2000

PERFORMANCE DATES w/c 30 June w/c  7 July

How to apply:  send the answers to the following questions:

  • Who are you? (100 words)
  • Which events from 1914 are you responding to and why? (100 words)
  • What do you want to work on? In which of our spaces? (500 words)
  • What will it be like for an audience? (200 words)
  • Tell us 3 influences on your work/ this piece (100 words)
    (Additionally, you can supply 1 A4 page with images/ links to your work).

Please send your application to programming@ovalhouse.com  with ‘The Other 1914’ in the subject line.

Deadline: 9.00am  on 17 March 2014
*They will be meeting applicants in the week commencing 24 March 2014*

Source: IdeasTap Job Opportunities.

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