On Tuesday 11th February 2020, PILOT Nights will land at Birmingham REP co-piloted by Alison Belbin and Tyrone Huggins. This is a chance for contemporary theatre makers to present up to 20 minutes of new, work-in-progress material, in front of a real live audience and industry peers.

Artists will receive a small fee, professional photos and video documentation of their work, and feedback from the audience. There will also be access to some rehearsal space at Birmingham REP the week before. It will also be a great opportunity to create links within the industry and meet future potential arts partners. Accommodation and travel costs will be covered for artists travelling from outside the region.

PILOT Nights is committed to improving accessibility within theatre, and so have started to work with BSL interpreters for PILOT Nights events. Artists selected for PILOT Nights will have the opportunity to work with BSL interpreters for their presented extracts, and this process will be supported by the PILOT Nights team and the Co-PILOT’s.

Who are the co-PILOTs?

Alison Belbin:
I have been an actor, director, writer/deviser and drama worker for 36 years. For most of that time I have worked in small-scale theatre contexts with some forays into radio and TV. I like work which tells those stories which don’t get told, poses questions, starts conversations, contributes to social and political change and does so with authenticity, often gained from anecdotal research. Creating new work through collaboration with other actors and writers has always been central and has ensured that as a woman working in theatre I have been involved in creating interesting and varied female characters and telling their stories. Often the work I’ve done has been in non-theatre spaces which leads to the creation of new and challenging theatre forms and new ways of storytelling as well as constantly accessing new audiences of all backgrounds.

Tyrone Huggins
I started acting by performing in three productions a year between ages eleven and eighteen at Duddeston Manor Comprehensive (Nechells), and was in the first production of Birmingham Youth Theatre in 1972. My professional career began by co-founding the experimental, visual theatre company Impact Theatre Cooperative in Leeds. Since then my work has broadly fallen into three areas; plays – at regional and national theatres; experimental theatre – with small and local companies; black theatre – developing work and infrastructure to support it. As an artist I have always been interested in the organisational structures that are the precursor to what work appears on stage and how to redress the balance. I also have a keen interest in dance and physical theatre.

What are they interested in?

“For this PILOT Night we are particularly interested in work by artists who may not yet have accepted that they have a career, who may have begun their practice aeons ago, but are only now realising they have been working for some time and developed skills and experience. Also those who do not think of their work primarily for the stage, but would be interested in placing a twenty minute excerpt on a stage this one time. We have both worked over many years to develop opportunities for new stories to emerge and have recently noticed that the issue of ageism has grown up to surround us. We are keen to get submissions from artists interested in challenging the idea that age brings a lessening of creativity or innovation.” Alison & Tyrone


PILOT Nights welcome applications in video or voice-recorded form as an alternative to written applications. If you wish to submit your application via a recording, please answer the questions on the application form and aim to keep the recording to under 5 minutes. We can accept applications in MP3 or MP4 format.

For selection criteria and to make a submission click here

To download the application form click here

Deadline for submissions:
Friday 3rd January 2020 at 5pm

Please contact us if you would like the application form in alternative formats, or have any alternative access needs.

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