The Evolve Artists in Residence scheme supports three artists or companies each year with seed funding for projects or research and development, the provision of free rehearsal space, and mentoring, advice and support from the Playhouse team.

We are thrilled to announce our 17/18 Evolve artists are Robin Norton-Hale, Daniel Naddafy and Protocol Dance Company. More can be read about these below.

We are also pleased to announce a new Evolve Artist in Residence scheme in partnership with Eclipse’s Sustained Global, which will open for applications in June 2017. More information here (also: see text below).

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.

Lanre Malaolu from Protocol Dance says:

We’re really excited to connect with the team at the Playhouse, to expand our network and resources as a company. It's also a great chance for us to connect with other artists that have been a part of previous Evolve schemes, to bridge new artistic relationships. Oxford is a beautiful city which has a really vibrant theatre scene. We're excited by the prospect of bringing projects, workshops and new work to this brilliant city.

Daniel Naddafy:

I am most excited about staring work on a new collaboration with Iranian artists during the Evolve year. I am also delighted to be back in my hometown of Oxford. One of my 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 me both artistically and personally. 

Robin Norton-Hale:

I’m really excited about working more closely with the team at Oxford Playhouse, a theatre I visited as a student and have been touring shows to as a director for the past few years. When touring shows, it can be difficult to feel really connected to the local audience and community, so this is an opportunity to get to know the community of theatre-goers in Oxford better. The Playhouse has a great team and ethos – really high quality work and a commitment to the local community and to bringing people who might not normally go to the theatre through the doors. The region is an interesting melting pot too – of course Oxford is beautiful and the thousands of tourists flock to if for good reason, but the people who live in the city and its suburbs are much more diverse than the tourist / university image of Oxford, and I know the Playhouse is committed to serving (and entertaining!) all of them. 

Meet our 17/18 Evolve Artists

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.

Sustained Global Evolve Residency – Applications opening June 2017!

This year we are pleased to announce we will be working in Partnership with Eclipse Theatre’s Sustained Growth Programme to support an artist on attachment for a year with the Playhouse. Sustained Global is designed to support Black (broadest sociopolitical context) theatre makers in the North by offering training, development, commissions, residencies, retreats, production space, and through the development of 6 ‘Enablers’ (Black Arts Professionals) who will 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.

Applications will open for this in June 2017, with the attachment commencing in September 2017.

This is the first opportunity delivered in partnership with the Sustained Global Programme. If you are a Black artist based in the North of England, you can apply to be the one of the first artist supported by this new programme.

November 2017
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