A paid opportunity for Theatremakers

REACT - 30th May – 2nd June 2017

Interviews w/c 8th May 2017


REACT is paid opportunity for groups of theatre-makers from the Open Exchange network to spend four days at the Exchange, creating work in reaction to a provocation. The emphasis is on process rather than outcome and you are encouraged to treat the week as a chance to play, learn from one another and develop the way you make work. There will be opportunity on the Friday to either share a snippet of what you’ve been developing, or just to have a chat about what you’ve explored over the week.

We are especially interested in artists of different disciplines collaborating to respond to this provocation, and all teams must consist of two or more Network members.



For this REACT we invite proposals to explore the notion of Verbatim Theatre.

We would like to see how you would explore real life experience, the use of verbatim material and what documentary theatre may inspire in you.

What is Verbatim?

'The intention is always to arrive at the truth’
~ Nicholas Kent

The term verbatim refers to the origins of the text spoken in the play. The words of real people are recorded or transcribed by a dramatist during an interview or research process, or they are appropriated from existing records such as transcripts of an official enquiry. They are then edited, arranged or decontextualised to form a dramatic presentation, in which actors take on characters of the real individuals whose words are being used.

‘What verbatim does is flash your research nakedly. It’s like cooking a meal but the meat is left raw’ ~ Max Stafford-Clark

Why this provocation?

This summer in association with MIF we present the new collaboration between Simon Stephens, Scott Graham and Karl Hyde - Fatherland.

FATHERLAND is a vivid, urgent and deeply personal portrait of 21st-century Britain at the crossroads of past, present and future. Inspired by conversations with fathers and sons from the trio’s home towns in the heart of the country, the show explores identity, nationality, masculinity – and what it means to belong in a world weighed down by the expectations of others. Fatherland has been created using verbatim theatre techniques.

We are interested in the many ways that verbatim can be used and the ethics of using other peoples words in your work.

Examples of verbatim work

Here are some examples of shows made and ideas explored using verbatim theatre techniques:

LONDON ROAD (using verbatim testimony and setting it to music)

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS (using verbatim testimony and setting it to movement)

COCK AND BULL (abstracting verbatim news clips and soundbites)

THE COLOUR OF JUSTICE (using the transcripts of court trials)

Here’s an Exeunt article touching on some of the tricky ethical issues of making a piece of work like London Road


Your idea should involve a strong element of movement and/or visual art.
Minimal tech support will be provided from the RET.


A fee of £750 per group
A rehearsal space for four days at the Exchange
A small budget for props/hires


To apply for this opportunity, please send us:

A short proposal (no more than 300 words) about your idea. You don’t need to know the outcome of the idea but tell us what you hope to achieve or discover. A short introduction to your team (no more than 300 words). Who you are and why you want to work together.

You can email these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or alternatively you can apply by sending an unedited video (no longer than 2 minutes in length) to the same address.

All shortlisted groups will be invited to come to the theatre for a discussion of your idea on w/c 8th May 2017


5pm on the 21st April 2017