Big Imaginations Early Years Commission call out

Big Imaginations are looking to commission an artist or theatre company to create a brilliant piece of theatre to engage families with children aged 0-4 years.

The aim of this commission is to develop the new audiences we reached during our previous outreach commission in 2015 and bring them into our venues and spaces for a piece of theatre to excite and engage. The piece needs to be able to be performed across the range of spaces the Big Imaginations network supports, from grand auditoriums to rural village halls and everything in between.

We want to be bold and experimental in our commission choices. We want to commission work that celebrates diversity and can build diverse audiences by allowing them to see themselves reflected on the stage; work that pushes boundaries in terms of form in order to ensure that our programming does not become safe and uninspiring. We will focus our commissioning energies on the North, developing the quality of available work on our doorstep.

Big Imaginations will work within the Arts Councils Creative Case model.

The questions we want artists who apply for the commission to respond to:

  • How will your piece provide an enhanced and enriched experience for audiences
  • How will you consider using new technologies
  • How flexible can you be in staging the show to make sure it is suitable for a range of venues
  • How will you consider working with interesting collaborators (outside of the children’s theatre sector)
  • How will you respond to the ACE Creative Case: i.e. How will you embed diversity within your show, in an intrinsic way as opposed to being issue-based

We will be looking to premiere this piece in July 2016 as part of the Big Imaginations Festival where it will tour across a selection of our venues, followed by a national tour Autumn 2016/Spring 2017.

The budget for making this piece of work is £16,000 plus £4,000 for additional resources. You will also receive mentoring from the Big Imaginations consortium, the opportunity to share your work at different stages, and rehearsal space at least one of our North West venues.

Please note: Z-arts will manage the budget.

Important dates

Deadline for applications: Sunday 4th October 12pm

Interviews: Wednesday 4th November, Z-arts


Big Imaginations is a network of 15 venues working together to bring brilliant children’s theatre to the North West.  From grand auditoriums to rural village halls and everything in between, our mission is to spark the imagination of children aged 0-13 with the wonder of theatre. The venues range from leading children’s theatre Z-arts to Spot on Lancashire Rural Touring Network with the aim of making children’s theatre bigger, better and more affordable. Big Imaginations has a commitment to bringing quality children’s theatre to our audiences, and we are looking to commission a piece of work that fits within this remit.

Further information can be found at

How to apply:

Please submit a project outline (no more than 2 pages), including where appropriate:

  • Your responses to the questions above
  • A copy of your CV or bio
  • A web link to previous work

a Budget breakdown and proposed timetable.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Holly on 0161 226 1912 or email


September 16th, 2015

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