Ensemble 2020

Launching a new generation of Deaf and disabled theatre makers, creatively supported and accredited by Rose Bruford College.

Graeae and Rose Bruford College are delighted to announce the Ensemble 2020 artists, as:

Jamie Green, James Greenhalgh, Jamie Hale, Jennifer Gambles, Katie Watson, Sophie Tennison and Stephen Reeder. 

A group photo of the Ensemble 2020

What is Ensemble?

Graeae’s Ensemble is a pioneering artist development programme for young Deaf and disabled people passionate about theatre making.

In 2015/16, Graeae launched Ensemble for six Deaf and disabled young people and eight more artists in Ensemble’s second programme in 2017/18, bringing the total number of participants so far to 14. We’re now in our third year and from 2020 onwards it will be delivered as a Level 4 Cert HE Graeae Ensemble: Theatre Making and Leadership’ accredited by Rose Bruford College.

The programme is delivered by Graeae alongside London’s leading drama schools, Rose Bruford College (accrediting body), London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) as well as arts organisations and freelance theatre artists. These partnerships are founded on a mutual vision and passion to create an inclusive and diverse theatre environment where Deaf and disabled artists are part of the industry’s future and recognised as part of the most passionate and talented artists.

“Graeae’s training for Deaf and disabled artists is radical. Training with Ensemble equalled empowerment, guiding me how to get the support I need to work as an emerging theatre director.” Hana Pascal Keegan, 2017-18 Ensemble Graduate


Photo: Oliver Cross, Ensemble 2016/17

The course is unique in that it is tailored to each year’s artists and their development goals and offers a comprehensive knowledge of theatremaking, with both on and off stage training.

The Ensemble course is 120 credits delivered across the 4 modules:

  • The Skills of the Theatre-Maker
  • Approaches to Performance
  • Think, Reflect, Share
  • Platform (a showcase of the work developed over the course)

These 4 modules include units in: Performance Techniques, Theatre for Social Change, Technical Theatre Skills, Approaches to Texts, Voice, Movement, Directing, Workshop Facilitation and Devising.

”Each time we run Ensemble, we are so acutely aware of there being so many more young, Deaf and disabled people out there for whom the programme could be a real lifeline. Without it, this talent that deserves to be seen could remain hidden away.”
Jodi-Alissa Bickerton Creative Learning Director

Ensemble artists are paired with a creative mentor and also offered regular networking opportunities and theatre trips, as well as ongoing support from Graeae beyond the course.

Our Ensemble artists (2015-16 and 2017-18) have gone on to work in the industry as award nominated performers, theatre makers, assistant directors, workshop facilitators and realising their own productions.

Access support is provided across the programme, for e.g. access worker, sign language interpreters. Travel bursaries are also available for artists facing barriers to accessible transport within London.

Ensemble has a UK-wide reach. To date, activity has taken place at Graeae’s fully accessible London HQ. We are working with partners across the UK to ensure Ensemble can be delivered in further regions.

Who is eligible and how to apply 

Applications are not currently open.

When we open applications again for 2021, we will look for applicants who:

→  Have a passion for developing a career in the arts and be excited by theatre

→  Are aged between 17 and 30 (as per start of the programme)

→  Are Deaf and/or disabled, or have faced barriers to formal training, further education and/or employment due to access needs not being met

→  Are based in the North of England (exact location of the programme tbc)

→ Are available to train for 6 months in 2021

→ The course fee is £9,250 via the student loan system. Support is offered to apply for Disability Student Allowance and a maintenance loan to support living costs. For artists accepted onto the course and not eligible to receive a student loan bursaries are available to remove any financial barriers to attending the course.

Please note: if you have already received 3 years of student finance, you will need to fund this course independently

To find out more about the next Ensemble, contact:
Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Creative Learning Director
jodi@graeae.org
Tel: 0207 613 6900

Ensemble 2020 press release

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