The EVOLVE Artists in Residence scheme, each year, supports three emerging or mid-career artists/companies by providing seed funding for projects, research and development, rehearsal space as well as mentoring and advice from the Playhouse team.

The applications for this year's EVOLVE have now closed. Best of luck if you applied - we'll be in touch soon.

Now in its fifth year of applications, EVOLVE has become an important and rewarding part of the Oxford Playhouse’s work to support artists in the Oxfordshire area. Previous residencies include founder of the award winning company Opera Up-Close, Robin Norton-Hale, as well as the innovative and exciting Flintlock Theatre who have both become regulars within our annual programming.

Laura Elliot, Programme Director at Oxford Playhouse says:

‘The Evolve Artists in Residence scheme is an important and rewarding part of our work with artists in and around Oxford, who we hope will go on to become longer-term associates of the Playhouse.

This year’s artists were all picked after showing a passion and vigour to evolve their practise as well as connect with the region and we are excited to support them in their journey.

We hope the scheme will contribute to the sense of community amongst all those making work in the city, emphasising Oxfordshire as a place for artists to live and work and where audiences can access vital new work.’

Daniel Naddafy, Current EVOLVE Artist

‘Being a member of the Evolve scheme has been an incredible experience. The mentorship and guidance from the Playhouse team has helped me to develop and grow as an artist. Through the scheme I have been able to access a huge amount of in-kind support which strengthened my first Grant for the Arts application, had numerous opportunities to network and discuss my work with other theatres and most of all given me a safe space to test ideas. I would highly recommend the scheme to anyone who wants to develop or explore their practice’

Flintlock Theatre, EVOLVE artists 2013

‘Becoming Artists in Residence at OP on the EVOLVE scheme has catapulted us forward in our development as an emerging theatre company. The mentoring and support has been simply wonderful and having the OP seal of approval on our work makes all the difference when we're making new connections across the theatre industry.’


Daniel Naddafy

Daniel is an actor and theatre-maker who works predominately in theatre for young audiences. He recently created a solo performance for babies titled Glisten, which will tour next year. Glisten was created with visual artists Phoebe Stubbs and is a gentle immersive performance which explores the world of shinny objects and colour. Daniel has worked on several occasions with the Unicorn Theatre and devised three performances with Polka. He has also worked with The Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, The Bush, Theatre Rites and Discover. Daniel loves to travel and has spent time working in Japan, South Korea and recently Norway. From 2012 to 2015, he worked as UK Coordinator for Okinawan based company Ship of the Ryukyu and in 2013 he performed in Mister Holgado which won a UK Theatre Award.

Daniel is most excited about staring work on a new collaboration with Iranian artists during the Evolve year. He is also delighted to be back in his hometown of Oxford. One of his first acting jobs was at the Oxford Playhouse at the age of 14 performing in the Christmas pantomime. To be returning to the Playhouse as an Evolve artists is a huge achievement for him both artistically and personally.

Protocol Dance Company

Headed by artistic directors and independent choreographers Lanre Malaolu and Jared Garfield, Protocol are an award winning dance-theatre company, dedicated to creating thrilling, bold and thought provoking work. Using a fusion of physical theatre and hip-hop dance, Protocol creates fresh and dynamic pieces of theatre which aim to enhance and challenge our world view.

Lanre was selected from over 1300 applicants to be a choreographer on the inaugural Old Vic 12 scheme; a talent group supported by the Old Vic Theatre comprised of the most exciting emerging theatre-makers in the UK in 2015. He was the choreographer and movement artist on The British Council film Dear Mr Shakespeare, which was selected for the renowned Sundance film festival 2017. He is also a trained actor, graduating from Drama Centre London.

Jared was a member of the Frantic Assembly Ignition Company, and has performed at The Young Vic with dance associate artists BirdGang in the acclaimed A Harlem Dream. He also directed A Memory of Me, a screen-dance film which was selected for Dance Film Festival UK. He is also a trained actor, graduating from Arts Ed.

Lanre and Jared are excited to be working in such a beautiful city, which has a really vibrant theatre scene. They’re excited by the prospect of bringing projects, workshops and new work to this brilliant city.

Robin Norton-Hale

Robin is a writer and director for opera and theatre and the founder of the Olivier Award-winning company OperaUpClose. Her directing credits for OperaUpClose, all in her own new English versions, include Carmen (Soho Theatre & UK tour), La Traviata (Tricycle Theatre, Soho Theatre & UK tour), La Bohème (Soho Theatre & UK tour), Don Giovanni (Soho Theatre) and The Barber of Seville (King’s Head Theatre & UK tour). She also wrote the English libretto for OperaUpClose’s The Marriage of Figaro and directed the UK premiere of Young Wife for the company. Other opera directing credits include a double bill of her own new version of Let's Make an Opera and Britten's The Little Sweep for Malmö Opera. Theatre directing includes Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (King’s Head Theatre), the world premiere of Glyn Maxwell’s Masters, Are You Mad? (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre) and The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse). Prior to directing, Robin read English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford University and trained as a journalist before working in press and marketing for English Touring Opera. She is a 2013/14 Clore Leadership Fellow and is a former trustee of Farnham Maltings and Bloomsbury Festival.

Robin is very excited to work with the Playhouse, having spent an amazing time in Oxford as a student in the early 2000s. She’s keen to work with a theatre so rooted in its community, and which is starting to produce more of its own work. Oxford has been a mainstay of her professional life too, with the North Wall Arts Centre being the first venue to which OperaUpClose toured – since then, three subsequent tours have all visited Oxford Playhouse. After admiring many shows at OP as a student, it was a very important moment to see her first production on the Playhouse stage.


Oxford Playhouse is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2018 EVOLVE Slate Residency.

Applications are invited from emerging and mid-career Black artists or companies from the North of England and should be submitted by 12 noon on Monday 8 October 2018.

To apply, download the application form (Word version | PDF version) and return it by email to Sophie Ruggiero at recruitment@oxfordplayhouse.com

Interviews will take place at Oxford Playhouse the week commencing 15 October 2018, with the residency starting the week commencing 29 October 2018.

In partnership with Slate, an Eclipse movement.

In 2018, as part of the EVOLVE programme we are pleased to announce a new EVOLVE Artist in Residence scheme in partnership with Slate: Black. Arts. World, a radical movement to support Black* artists in the North of England.

This combined residency will support an artist on attachment for a year with the Playhouse.

Slate is designed to support Black artists in the North by offering training, development, commissions, residencies, retreats and production space. The Slate ‘Enablers’ (Black Arts Professionals) support artists to generate long term career sustainability in the independent sector. This is a ground-breaking new programme that will see those who participate work on a local, national and international level.

If you are a Black artist based in the North of England, you can apply to be the first artist supported by this new partnership.

This is the first opportunity delivered in partnership with the Sustained Global Programme.

*To Eclipse, Black includes anyone who is marginalized for their race or ethnicity.

December 2017
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