The Theatre in Palm #theatreinpalm platform is a three-year, international cooperation programme with financial support from the European Union, which aims to showcase emerging artists. Organisations representing various fields in a number of different countries will be participating in the programme, which is run by Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
Theatre in Palm is a European platform fostering theatrical collaboration with support for emerging artists. It aims to act as an incubator for new talent from the page to the stage, chiefly focussing on professional development and optimisation of possibilities for cooperation between artists and cultural organisations in the platform countries.
At the inaugural meeting of the programme partners in Turku, Finland, last September, the programme coordinator for Cyprus was Thoc’s Theatre Development Officer, Marina Maleni, who was also involved in shaping the three-year programme.
1. Theatre in Palm
The platform was created by twelve organisations, each from a different European country, with the aim of supporting emerging artists and other people involved in the arts so that they can create and disseminate their work together, creating a joint European programme of events by artists and educational programmes that are not limited by national borders.
The platform actions will have places for 3,504 emerging artists, 384 of whom will receive financial or institutional support to co-create, exchange knowledge, develop their skills and showcase their work. Theatre in Palm furthers the objectives of the European Platforms sub-programme of the Creative Europe programme, increasing the visibility and employability of emerging European artists and their work beyond the borders of their countries, in Europe and elsewhere. It also seeks to increase access to and participation in cultural events both by artists and the public.
The term ‘emerging artist’ refers to young and recent graduates from leading schools of the arts, who have made an impression and received recognition for their creative work, but also concerns people who have changed direction in their careers. In addition, the programme is for those with specialised training in their field (not necessarily from an academic institution), who have not yet established a solid reputation as artists, whether they are just beginning their careers or have already produced work in their artistic discipline.
It is a three-year programme with a total budget of around two and a half million Euros for all the partners.
Through a series of residencies, an information portal, community engagement, festivals, European theatre workshops, roadshows and travel, the platform will explore different approaches to theatrical collaboration and co-creation throughout Europe, reflecting and recording the different applied arts in culture.
The platform will additionally contribute to efforts for environmental sustainability and awareness-raising in this area and will support the promotion of a fair, inclusive and diverse environment for emerging artists, examining effective ways of addressing the gender gap and combatting discrimination. In this regard, the promotion of equal opportunities, better working conditions and fair wages will be a strategic feature of the proposed projects.
Coordinator: Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland
- Intercult Productions, Sweden
- Fondazione E35 per la progettazione internazionale, Italy
- Smashing times Theatre Company, Ireland
- LEMONGRASS COMMUNICATIONS S.L, Spain
- JAIT – INTERNATIONAL THEATRE, Portugal
- Stichting ZID, Netherlands
- Anazitites Theatrou, Greece
- European Theatre and Film Institute, Belgium
- Cyprus Theatre Organisation, Cyprus
- Homemade Culture, Romania
- OECON GROUP, Bulgaria
The planned activities will help support and raise the profile of emerging artists, contributing to their recovery after the pandemic and their access to upskilling. They include:
- European Theatre Labs
- Theatre movement local events
- Residencies (digital, hybrid, live)
- Digital Coffee Talks
- Go & See movement between participating organisations
- Theatre roadshow
- Theatre repository (showcases at least 240 artworks = 20 from each partner)
- Theatre Academy
- Theatre festivals
There is a single common denominator for all the Platform’s actions:
For anything communicated through it: does it give hope?
The diverse programme affords ample space to utilise funds and capitalise on opportunities, and the Thoc team has already begun coordinating in order to create space for the support of emerging professionals in the field of theatre and the arts, allowing them to network and become active both professionally and artistically.
Examples of actions that have already taken place:
International digital residency programmeThe programme linked twelve countries online, each with five emerging artists and a mentor. Thoc participated in the programme, and the digital residency lasted from 6-10 February 2023. The artists from Cyprus connected from the Theatre Shelter in the Thoc Building. The residency was led by Turku UAL in Finland, following an open call for participants.
In the Cypriot digital residency, the diverse group comprised emerging young theatre professionals with backgrounds in different disciplines. The participants were Nefeli Kentoni, Raphaela Neofytou, Sofia Mavromichali, Maria Pisiili and Syeda Farwah Rizvi. Their mentor was Marina Makri. The Coordinator was Marina Maleni.
Go and See
Four exchanges have so far taken place, with the aim of developing better communication to raise the profile and promote the work of young artists.
Thoc’s Publications and Public Relations Officer, Maria Efstathiou, had the opportunity to visit and learn about the work of Smashing Times in Dublin, while cultural manager and Musician Sarah Patsalidou travelled to Intercult in Stockholm, where she was able to broaden her knowledge and horizons still further. Thoc was visited for ten days by Michalis Palamas, a filmmaker from the CUBE Organisation in Greece, and the writer Feilim James from Smashing Times in Ireland, who were involved in preparations for a production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
Digital Coffee Breaks
A number of digital coffee breaks have already taken place, aiming to open channels of collaboration and present ways of working that are of interest to emerging artists. On Friday 19 May 2023, Thoc is planning a presentation with Dr. Aleksandar Brkic of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London on Understanding the cultural/theatre ecosystems.
European Theatre Labs
Dr Brkic’s presentation will take place as part of a live three-day workshop in Cyprus, organised by Thoc on the subject “From Emerging to Established and Sustainable Theatre Makers”. The workshop from 19-21 May, is specially designed to meet the needs of emerging artists and will
Thoc’s first European Theatre Lab as part of Theatre in Palm took place with great success on 25 and 26 March. It was led by Sofia Vgenopoulou from the Young People’s Stage of the National Theatre of Greece, in collaboration with Assitej Cyprus, and was on the subject of theatre in education for young people.
This is just some of what has been taking place – and will continue to take place – at Theatre in Palm.
Emerging artists who want to learn more about the actions and about topics that may be of interest to them can register at https://forms.gle/BQvRoESAtpRF9dTSA with no obligation.