New Wolsey Theatre’s Pulse Festival Opens Submissions for Testing Ground 2018

Submissions are now open for next year’s Testing Ground commission, where successful projects will be showcased at PULSE Festival 2018.

The New Wolsey Theatre is committed to increasing the representation of D/deaf and disabled people in their audiences, workforce, and stages.

They support and showcase new work and new ideas from contemporary theatre makers through the PULSE artist development programme. Last year, they introduced Testing Ground, a seed commission programme for original work from D/deaf and disabled artists.  They are keen to develop these artists and their work, and ensure the aesthetics of access are embedded in the creative process.

This year, Testing Ground will present three works at various stages of their development at PULSE Festival 2017, with scratches of Nicola Werenowska’s Invisible, Kiruna Stamell and Rhona McKenzie’s Disability Sex Archive, and the premiere of Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe’s The Shape of Pain.

Nicola Werenowska, writer of Invisible, a Testing Ground 2017 commission has said: ‘Not only has Testing Ground given me invaluable time, space and resources to begin a new piece of work which I’m really excited about, but the process has been transformative in terms of exploring my personal relationship to my disability in my artistic practice and developing a neurodiverse led practice.’ 

Applications are now open for three new Testing Ground commissions, leading to a presentation of work in PULSE Festival 2018.  These commissions will vary according to the needs of projects, and could include financial, dramaturgical, marketing and other in-kind support. Deadline for submissions is Friday 22 September 2017.

How do you apply? It’s easy. All you need to do is submit a page of A4 or equivalent video clip explaining the idea, and what you’ve achieved up to now.

For more details or to send your submissions, please contact Jamie Beddard, Agent for Change at the New Wolsey Theatre:


New Wolsey Theatre’s Pulse Festival Opens Submissions for Testing Ground 2018


There are going to be plenty of ways to get involved with An Agent for Change across the country as more Agents for Change positions are created more opportunities will arise. This is an exciting time for the development of access and this is your chance to get involved!

If you would like to submit an article from elsewhere, blog post about an experience you have had (positive or negative!) or even a video of something you have seen that helps tell our story of change, you can do it here. Please make your stories compelling and shareable, relevant and provocative, and we’ll do the rest.

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