10 micro-scale commissions available

Deadline for applications: 9am on Monday 12 April

As England opens up, treading tentatively along the roadmap announced on Monday 22 February, we’re inviting theatre makers, theatre companies and theatre artists based in the North East to help us – and audiences - get Out on the Toon.

What Is Out On The Toon  What We're Looking For  Who We're Looking For  What We'll Provide 

About This Is Us  Timeline  Fee and Budget  How To Apply  Deadline  Further Information  

Documents  Accessible Documents 

What is Out On The Toon? 

Out on the Toon is an outdoor programming strand that aims to meet audiences where they are. It is a hyper-local and multi-local commissioning strand that responds to people and place.

Are you an artist, theatre maker or theatre company based in North east? - What we’re looking for: 

We will support up to 10 theatre makers, theatre companies or theatre artists to present work that will be available for people to enjoy in their own neighbourhoods across the North East throughout June.

Whilst we are hopeful that we will have arrived at Stages 3 and 4 of the roadmap by then, we want the ambition of the work – in terms of who it can bring together – to be cautious and realistic in order to ensure it’s possible. Therefore, we welcome applications that will create interventions and happenings that meet audiences on their own, in groups of two or in households, at a social distance, to be enjoyed outdoors in a range of locations.

The work doesn’t need to be new, but we’re asking you to make work for where you are – in the North East – and where you know – this might be a specific location or a type of location (a high street for example) that can be found across the region.

We’re particularly interested in work that reimagines well-known-walks, parks and the coast or places we’ve got bored with during lockdown, breathing new life into those places and spaces.

The turnaround is fast and furious and so it’s likely these projects will be micro-scale and that’s ok – we love the idea of meeting audiences one at a time.

We know that time is money and so we don’t want you to spend too long on the application form – apply if you have an existing idea that can be remounted or redeveloped or if there’s an idea you’ve been dreaming up that’s already the perfect fit.

Who we’re looking for:


  • Be a theatre maker, theatre company or theatre artist based in the North East
  • Make work for your neighbourhood, thinking specifically about the where and the when
  • Have experience producing the kind of work you’re pitching and of presenting it in the locations you’re suggesting
  • Have budgeted the cost of your idea and adhere to fair pay guidance.
  • Be responsible for making your idea a reality – delivering it on budget and on time
  • Prioritise the health of those you’re engaging– artists and audiences alike, by adhering to up-to-date Covid-19 safety guidance from the government.
  • Document the work so that we can celebrate it

What we’ll provide:

  • A commission of up to £2,500
  • A working outdoors toolkit/guidance to support you in producing your work
  • Clear guidance on what you can and can’t do at each stage of the roadmap and a health and safety / COVID-security toolkit
  • A contact for any questions you might have
  • Support to celebrate your work with a wider audience


The Neighbourhood brief is part of THIS IS US – our year long season devoted to radical diversity of stories, characters, lives, forms, locations and times to remind us who we in a time where we’ve had to retreat into bubbles to protect ourselves and each other.

We’re looking for work that expands our understanding of who we are, that makes us feel together – even when we can’t be physically together, that offers some sort of healing. The pandemic has emphasised and increased long-standing inequalities in our shared world and our programming will aim to correct some of that as well as making visible those who – as a result of the pandemic – are at risk of being made invisible: disabled led work, work that explores the experience of older adults, work about the working, benefit, criminal, underclass experience, work by Black and ethnically diverse artists and that centres voices that have been marginalised by the pandemic.

Don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to bring your trauma – in fact, we’re so hungry to hear about work that celebrates those experiences.


Deadline for submissions:

9am on Monday 12 April

Shortlisted artists invited to chat through the idea with
the Out on the Toon team

Monday 19 April


Commission issued with timeline and budgets agreed

Friday 30 April 2021


Neighbourhood programme launches


Fee and Budget: 

We expect to support 10 micro-scale commissions, up to a maximum of £2,500 per commission.

We’ll be commissioning successful artists to fully produce and deliver the content – we’ll agree the objective, timeline, delivery time-frame but artists and companies are responsible for fully producing and realising their own idea.

This fee, as an example, could cover 10 full-days at a day rate of £150 for the lead artist/company and a production budget of £1,000. However, it’s for artists to adapt if their idea takes less producing and more personnel. We will support with the cash commission and celebrating the work with a wider audience in return for a co-producing credit.

How to apply:

Step One:

You will need to complete our short online application form and upload a completed budget sheet and monitoring form. Alternatively, you can apply by submitting a video or audio recording.

All applications should cover the following areas:

  • a short paragraph about your idea
  • a budget breaking down what you need to make your idea happen
  • details of the location – both where in the North East and also what type of location and what permissions (if any) you’ll need and how you’ll get them
  • information on how the work will be delivered and when
  • information on who the work is for and how they’ll find out about the work
  • information (images / video) of two pieces of work you’ve made that you’re super proud of.
  • information on the relevant experience you have that relates to the delivery of the idea.

Complete online application form.

Video or audio applications can be sent to: [email protected].

Please include your name or your company name in the file name of all the uploaded documents.

Deadline for applications: 9am on Monday 12 April.

If you have access requirements and need support with the application process, please contact [email protected].

We will notify all artists/companies of the outcome of their application. However, we will not be able to offer any feedback on unsuccessful applications at this stage.

Step Two:

Shortlisted applications will be invited to have a conversation with one of our team on Monday 19 April – we’ll work around your availability to arrange this. Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful applications at this stage.

Further information:

Please refer to our Frequency Aked Questions (FAQs) for further information.

If you still have any questions, please contact [email protected].


Neighbourhood Brief
Neighbourhood Brief Application Form Word Template
Neighbourhood Brief Budget Sheet
Applicant Equality Monitoring Form

Accessible documents:

Large Print

Neighbourhood Brief – Large Print
Neighbourhood Brief Application Form Word Template – Large Print
Neighbourhood Brief Budget Sheet – Large Print
Applicant Equality Monitoring Form – Large Print