Play Labs

Play Labs offer a safe space and creative support for Deaf and disabled artists wishing to explore raw ideas and fresh stories for live performance.


Play Labs are open to D/deaf and disabled writers, performers and theatre makers of all levels and experience, who have an idea or the seeds of a story that would benefit specifically from being unpicked and explored with a creative team in a rehearsal room setting.

The opportunity offers successful applicants:

  • One day’s R&D in Graeae’s accessible studio space
  • Support from Graeae in assembling a creative team
  • A budget of up to £700 to cover all artists’ fees, expenses, access costs and materials
  • Mentorship and creative advice leading up to and immediately following the Play Lab date, plus the support of a Graeae director        and/or dramaturg who will facilitate the Play Lab day

How to apply:
In order to apply, you will need to send in a proposal. Your proposal should answer the following questions in one document (Word or pdf).

1. Tell us about you. In a short paragraph, describe your skills, experience and interests in no more than 400 words.

This could be any courses you’ve done, performances you’ve been in, the kind of work you like and the kind of work you’d like to make, influences etc.

2. Pitch us your project in no more than 400 words.

Tell us a bit about your project. For example, you might want to tell us about: the story, the characters, the setting, how you’d like to tell this story, which mediums you’d use (for example: dance, music, puppetry etc).

3. What is the one question you wish to explore in the Play Lab?

If you’re stuck for finding your question think about what attracted you to the idea in the first place. Was it the subject matter or theme, personal experience, how you’d make it work for live performance etc.

4. A brief explanation of how your idea will benefit from a Play Lab

Think about who will be in the room. How would bringing them all together in one place help you to explore your idea?

5. A proposed breakdown of your creative team (this could be actors, a choreographer etc) plus a basic budget.

Please note that successful applicants will work with a Graeae dramaturg and/or director, who will co-facilitate the play lab day. You don’t need to include fees for the dramaturg and director in your proposed budget. An example of your proposed budget could look something like this. All access costs will be covered (additionally to your budget).

Play lab artist*£112**
Actors x 2£224
Movement Director£112
Travel for 5 artists @ £20 each£100

*This is you
**Graeae’s day rate for creatives is £112


6. Show us where the Play Lab fits within the bigger development and delivery of your project.

Tell us about what you have already done with the idea, any ground work you’ve laid. You could also give us some context as to how you arrived at the idea. Following the Play Lab, where do you see this idea going?

7. If you have existing material that will support your application, such as sample writing or a link to your work, you are welcome to send this in but this is not obligatory. Supplementary material must not exceed 10 pages and no more than 4 links.

This could be an extract from a full length play, a short play, a poem/spoken word piece. Anything you feel will give us an idea on the kind of work you make.

The process:

  • Your application will be acknowledged via email
  • All applications will be read and reviewed by Graeae’s Creative Team
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to give feedback on unsuccessful proposals.
  • Successful Play Lab applicants will be invited for a meeting with Graeae w/c 24 July.
  • Play Labs will take place w/c 4 September.

Please note:
All applicants must identify as D/deaf and/or disabled.
We welcome applications from artists that live and work across the UK.
We welcome applications in English and BSL.
All access needs will be met. If you have any questions about access, or require this information in a different format, please
If you have any further questions about this opportunity, please contact



Related events