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Curatorial Call-Out: John Thaw Initiative | Motherhood(s)

Curatorial Call-Out: John Thaw Initiative | Motherhood(s)

Curatorial Call-Out: John Thaw Initiative | Motherhood(s)

9 August 2019

The John Thaw Initiative offers a platform for artists to take creative risks and achieve vital feedback with work still in development, without any financial pressure. Previous seasons have included the Mental Health Season where each show was followed by a post-show Q&A; the Graduate Season, featuring work by graduating drama students, the Blacktress UK Season, offering opportunities exclusively for women of the African diaspora; Working Class Stories in association with Actor Awareness; and the Queer Season, curated by ThisIsOtherland.

In direct response to essential global conversations around women’s reproductive rights, for our fourth and final instalment of the 2019 John Thaw Initiative, we are calling for submissions of works that explore the theme of motherhood, or rather Motherhood(s).

These stories can be personal. They may be political. They can be filled with love, hope and fear. They might stem from rage and anger. They can be filled with opportunities as well as limitations.

Your interpretation of motherhood can — and should be — entirely subjective. Historically, society has conflated the role of womanhood and motherhood, and with this season of work, we want to demythologise these socially solidified preconceptions.


Motherhood exists in terms of multiplicities and we are seeking work that disentangles binaries, such as ‘good/bad’, ‘natural/unnatural’ mother, to reveal multi-faceted, nuanced and contemporary representations that break free from idealised myths. We welcome work that showcases sheer unbridled love and joy, alongside work that may challenge the links between biological motherhood and maternal instinct.

We want to offer a season of work that engages with the boundless contemporary iterations of motherhoods to represent the role in all its complexity, subjectivity, possibility and impossibility.


The John Thaw Studio has very limited technical set up, and we can only offer a short time to get-in and tech. As such, we are looking for work-in-progress pieces which do not rely heavily on tech, set, props or costume. Please see below for more information, and supporting documents.


The season will run October – December 2019. Each successful production will be allocated between 1 and 3 consecutive performance dates. Please note that the Initiative takes place in the John Thaw Studio – NOT the Tristan Bates Theatre.


Info About the Season

  • Performance dates will be allocated to each successful company based on the preferences and availability you give in your submission form. Once set, these dates are non-negotiable, so please be as sure as possible of your availability when completing the form.
  • Each successful production will have access to the John Thaw Studio from 6pm on each of your performance dates. The performances will start at 8pm prompt. This gives you 2 hours to arrange the room, tech, warm up, etc. 
  • Please be aware that the technical capabilities of the studio are extremely limited. There are 2 stage lights and a small PA system for sound. Please do submit your production with this in mind.
  • We strongly recommend that you keep your technical requirements as simple as possible. 
  • The seating is flexible, and can be arranged however you like. The studio has a maximum capacity of 50 seats. Please remember to keep all fire exits clear when setting up.
  • There is limited storage for props, costumes, set etc for you to leave things overnight. We can store a few small items, but big set pieces are not appropriate for the season.
  • Tickets will be priced at £7 Standard, £5 Concession. 45 tickets will be placed on sale per performance, with 5 held off-sale for comps.
  • Each company will be contracted by the Actors Centre.
  • Each company will be responsible for paying their cast & crew according to Equity Fringe Minimum guidelines.



  • There are no fees to take part in the Initiative – each production will operate on a 50/50 box office split deal.
  • Card charges of 3.8% + 20p per ticket will be deducted from your percentage.


If you would like to submit a production for consideration, please download and complete the John Thaw Initiative Motherhood(s) Submissions Form and email it to Will on [email protected], with MOTHERHOOD(S) SEASON SUBMISSION in the subject line.

The deadline for submissions is 10am on Friday 23rd August.  We will respond to all applicants by Friday 6th September at the latest.

Supporting Documents


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