Michael Grandage today announces the recipients of the sixth annual MGCfutures Bursaries awarded across a range of theatrical disciplines including directing, writing, producing, designing, choreography, carpentry, millinery and performance-makers. A registered charity, MGCfutures offers both financial and ongoing mentoring support to the recipients who come from across the UK.
This year’s recipients are: Isabel Adomakoh Young, Shankho Chaudhuri, Aran Cherkez, Sarah Golding, Matthew Harvey, Jennifer Jackson, Somebody Jones, Max Lindsay, Alice Rush, Sundeep Saini, Mark Smith, Sam Stuart and Clarissa Widya. This year’s bursaries also include new partnerships offering Kashish Gaba – the London Performance Studios Cultural Entrepreneur Bursary, Nadia Sewnauth – Dance Base Hip-Hop Dance Artist Traineeship, Anushiye Yarnell – South House Creative Development Residency; as well as Bethany Cooper, the Nicole Kidman Bursary, and Lauren Martin and Claire Powell, Stephanie Arditti Bursaries.
The bursaries programme was launched in 2016 for arts practitioners who show a commitment to their chosen career and look to progress to the next stage of their development.
Michael Grandage said today, “As we continue to emerge from one of the most challenging periods in our history, the theatre industry is back focusing people’s minds and helping us look to the future with hope. The recipients of this year’s MGCfutures bursaries are at the forefront of that debate, offering imagination, intellect and talent. I’m delighted we are able to award so many individuals the opportunity to hone their craft and develop their career as part of our ongoing bursary scheme which is now in its sixth year.”
As announced last year the Theatre Community Fund, spearheaded by Olivia Colman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Francesca Moody continue their 3-year support of the bursary scheme.
When they launched the Theatre Community Fund in July 2020 in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, they committed to provide hardship funding, and bursaries for creation and innovation. They continue to provide hardship funding through the Royal Theatrical Fund; and this donation sees them continue to realise their aim to provide funding for bursaries.
“The residency at South House feels like the perfect place to land deeply with my practice making a collaborative series of works unravelling the complexities of consent and the omnipresence of otherness. For me the MGCfutures bursary is more than simply enabling…it is a place, a way to find resonance, authenticity and belonging for my work.”
“While I work with the LPS team in achieving the best of their current and future programmes, I’ll improve my skills, try new ideas and take more risks. In the process, I wish to support artists from marginalised communities and help them expand their resources. I am excited to embark on this new chapter and make the most of the Cultural Entrepreneur Bursary offered by MGCfutures.”
“I am extremely grateful to MGCfutures for the financial support to not only expand my practice with new software and learning resources, but also to pay myself for the time spent learning and developing my craft. This bursary will be an invaluable lift towards building a more fulfilling and rewarding career.”
“I’m absolutely delighted and very grateful to receive an MGCfutures bursary. This award will support me to develop ‘The Invisible Friend’, an immersive, one-on-one, spatial audio adventure for children. This opportunity will help catalyse the next career step for me, exploring the potential use of XR technology within immersive and participatory theatre practice.”
“As a Black female playwright, I feel honoured and excited to have received the MGCfutures Bursary and have the opportunity to explore such an important piece. Doing an R&D/workshop of ‘Present Black Fathers’ will not only allow me to uplift and pay Black fathers and artists, but also to start conversations with theatres/individuals who can take this piece and inevitably my career to the next step.”
ISABEL ADOMAKOH YOUNG
“As an actor, I take great pleasure in telling other people’s stories; now MGCfutures is giving me space to start telling my own. I am honoured and excited to begin the work of writing my first play, exploring duality, queerness and cultural heritage.”
“I am honestly beyond thrilled to be awarded this bursary. As a disabled artist this kind of support is truly invaluable, as it will not only allow me the time and freedom to build my own unique practice as a producer, but will support the creation of new and exciting theatre in Wales.”
FULL LIST OF BURSARY RECIPIENTS:
ISABEL ADOMAKOH YOUNG – WRITER
The bursary will provide time for Isabel to start work on her first play.
SHANKHO CHAUDHURI – DESIGNER
The bursary will support the expansion of Shankho’s practice through the provision of software, learning and time.
ARAN CHERKEZ – DIRECTOR
The bursary will support Aran’s development of a new live art and dance exploration inspired by Britain’s forgotten ageing population.
BETHANY COOPER – PRODUCER – NICOLE KIDMAN BURSARY
The bursary will support Bethany as she develops two new productions for regional touring.
KASHISH GABA – LONDON PERFORMANCE STUDIOS CULTURAL ENTREPRENEUR BURSARY
The bursary will support Kashish Gaba in his role as Cultural Entrepreneur at London Performance Studios in Bermondsey.
SARAH GOLDING – THEATRE-MAKER
The bursary will support the development of an immersive, interactive spatial-audio adventure for children, exploring the joy, comfort and delight of having an ‘invisible friend’.
MATTHEW HARVEY – COMPOSER
The bursary will provide time for Matthew to create an original new music score.
JENNIFER JACKSON – CHOREOGRAPHER
The bursary will support the development of a new dance-theatre work celebrating the power and agency of women in a fiercely contested space.
SOMEBODY JONES – WRITER
The bursary will support the development of a verbatim piece challenging the ‘absent Black father’ stereotype.
MAX LINDSAY – DIRECTOR
The bursary will support Max to develop a new musical celebrating Queer Joy.
LAUREN MARTIN – STEPHANIE ARDITTI
The bursary will provide new hat blocks for Lauren, who is a theatrical milliner.
CLAIRE POWELL – STEPHANIE ARDITTI
The bursary will fund a new workroom complete with an industrial iron and sewing machine.
ALICE RUSH – PRODUCER
The bursary will support Alice’s first venture as a solo producer.
SUNDEEP SAINI – THEATRE-MAKER
The bursary will enable Sundeep to work on the R&D of her multidisciplinary show for children exploring loneliness in a digitally connected world.
NADIA SEWNAUTH – DANCE BASE HIP-HOP DANCE ARTIST TRAINEESHIP
The bursary will provide Nadia with organisational and financial support as she takes part in the first hip-hop traineeship in Dance Base in Edinburgh.
MARK SMITH – DIRECTOR
The bursary will assist Mark to take a new direction as a theatre director.
SAM STUART – CARPENTER
The bursary will cover workshop costs for Sam’s new enterprise for theatre carpenters.
CLARISSA WIDYA – PRODUCER
The bursary will assist Clarissa’s professional development as a Producer of British East and Southeast Asian work.
ANUSHIYE YARNELL – SOUTH HOUSE CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT RESIDENCY
The bursary will support Anushiye to undertake a supported residency at South House in Faversham.
The future of theatre depends on young people. They are the theatre makers and theatre goers of tomorrow. MGCfutures reaches out to people of different ages and backgrounds, providing information, guidance and support through mentorship, the Bursary scheme, online resources, workshops and participatory activities. It is also committed to enabling young people to visit the theatre who might otherwise not be able to do so.
MGCfutures is a charitable organisation, governed by a Board of Trustees. It is also supported by the charity’s patrons: Judi Dench, Dawn French, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe, Simon Russell Beale, Sheridan Smith, Aidan Turner, David Walliams and Ben Whishaw.
“My MGCfutures Bursary, allowed me to work on the long-term sustainability of my producing career through business and financial training, as well as developing my company’s artistic slates through acquiring rights for two works for adaptation. At this stage of my career, the recognition and support from MGCfutures has given me the confidence to take the next steps in moving towards becoming a leader in the industry – I can’t thank MGCfutures enough.” Nisha Oza, Producer and Bursary Recipient 2021 .