Make Space

Catherine Wheels is launching a brand new fund called MAKE SPACE. Through it, we are inviting anyone interested in making work for young people to bring us their ideas, imaginings and dreams for what theatre for young people could look like in the new normal.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” Moby Dick

Make Space

Make Space is a new research and development fund for Scotland-based artists to explore what performing arts for children could look like in the new normal. Catherine Wheels wants you to join us in looking to the future of our art form in a changed landscape, what the needs of our audiences will be and how this affects the work we create.

The Make Space fund will support up to five interesting ideas that explore new ways of creating, presenting, and touring work for young Scottish audiences in an uncertain future.

You do not need to have a final product in mind, this is a fund to ask questions and research ideas.

Why is Catherine Wheels interested in hearing from you?

We want you to help us imagine what this new theatre landscape could look like. Some of the questions we are considering, and would like you to think about when applying for this fund, include:

• How can we continue to work together when there are times we must work apart?
• How flexible and nimble can our work be?
• How can we be carbon neutral in the way we work, the projects we create, and the way we tour?
• How do we create and share work where theatres may not always be an option for presenting?
• How do we develop the ability for children’s theatre to work flexibly in alternative spaces like schools, community venues, outdoors etc?
• Can we make work that is successful online, but also, crucially, works live?
• How do we create work that best serves our local audience and community?

Who we want to apply

We want artists and individuals from varied creative backgrounds to apply. Whether you are a lighting or set designer, a writer, director, musician, choreographer, technician, theatre maker or someone who doesn’t fit neatly into any description but is interested in the questions we have – and perhaps have others to ask – we would love to hear from you.
We are keen to broaden the ideas and expertise and thinking in this area and to challenge our assumptions. We are keen to hear from applicants who identify as BAME/Person of Colour, D/deaf, disabled, LGBTQ+.
Applicants must be based in Scotland, and we would like one of the artists to be based in our home region of East Lothian.

All ideas and developments will work alongside government guidelines on Covid-19; the conditions of development may change.

What we can offer

Each idea will be awarded up to £2,000 which you can use to pay for your own time, working with others, materials and/or associated costs. On top of this we can offer:
• Artistic, technical and producing support
• Rehearsal space
• Resources – sound/lighting etc.
• As part of the funding we will create ways for all the artists to be connected. This will be through informal meetings and other events, created to meet the needs of the individuals and group.


• A sharing by December 2020. This can be in whatever form you choose.
• If you wish to further develop the project, we will support you in applying for funds. If successful, Catherine Wheels will produce the project.

How to Apply

The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Friday 29 May 2020.

We want the application process to be as simple as possible, so we have options of how you can contact us with your idea:

• Write to us with a brief description of your idea and budget
• Send us your idea by video or audio file
• Choose another form that you feel best allows you to express your idea

We welcome any resources (images/text/film) that give us an insight into your idea.

Send your application to

Decision Making

A panel of two freelance artists; the writer James Ley and the designer Karen Tennent will join the Catherine Wheels team on Monday 1 June to make a selection. Decisions will be announced on Friday 5 June.

If you have any questions, or would like to talk about the application, please contact Artistic Director Gill Robertson

About Catherine Wheels

Catherine Wheels Theatre Company is Scotland’s most celebrated producer of work for children and young people, with 31 inspirational and original productions presented in 26 countries since the company was created by Artistic Director, Gill Robertson, in 1999.

Catherine Wheels is also Scotland’s most well-travelled theatre company touring nationally and internationally taking productions to theatres, festivals and schools in communities and cities across Scotland, to London’s Southbank and Barbican, and across the globe from Europe to New York, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Such has been the acclaim for Catherine Wheels’ shows, that many of the company’s productions have stayed in repertoire, including Martha, which has performed to audiences of over 100,000 across four continents; Lifeboat, the first Scottish theatre production to appear at the Sydney Opera House and White, the company’s most well-travelled production which has been performed 1,600 times and seen by children and their families.

Recent productions include Emma & Gill, a co-production with Lung Ha Theatre Company, and WhirlyGig by Daniel Padden, a co-production with Red Bridge Arts.

Catherine Wheels also supports independent artists, including the acclaimed Shona Reppe (Atlantis Banal, Potato Needs a Bath). The company is producing Victoria Beesley’s new show Kissing Linford Christie.