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Theatre & dance

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award

Two women in the foreground. One is holding a microphone up to the other.

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award helps the development of emerging theatre-makers engaged in bold, challenging and innovative performance and encourages the new generation of artists

The Award is for a company or individual based in the UK or Ireland to create a show either for the Barbican’s studio theatre or a site-responsive show to take place in east London or the City. The winning show will premiere as part of the Barbican Theatre & Dance season.  The proposal must therefore be for an original and unperformed piece of work that is available for production and unattached to any other venue or company.

The Award is designed for artists who are at the stage in their career where they can demonstrably benefit from moving on to a fully resourced and funded production. It is there to help artists move on to the next level in their professional career.

The winning artist or company receives a production grant of up to £32,000. In addition they will receive a mentor for the project and in-kind support from the Barbican including a marketing and press campaign for the performance and some technical and administrative support.

How to apply

The deadline for this round of applications has passed, submissions will open again later in 2020.  Applications should be emailed to [email protected].  Late applications and those not submitted by email will not be accepted. 

In order to prepare your application, please make sure you are eligible.  It is very important that you have read the additional information (found below) including the eligibility guidelines before completing this application. This preparation will also help you find out what we are looking for, and how to make the best case.

The Barbican and OSBTTA are committed to nurturing and developing creative talents from a diverse range of backgrounds and contexts. We welcome application from disabled artists and can make reasonable adjustments to the application process as required Please contact us if you would like to submit your application in an alternative form, such as a video, or wish to discuss any other requirements, by emailing [email protected].


Timeline of current award

  • Monday 9 December 2019 - Deadline for submissions
  • March 2020 - Barbican will respond to applicants to let them know whether they have been successful
    We will acknowledge every application but regret that we are unable to offer any feedback due to the volume of applications
  • May 2020 - Interviews
    We usually interview around 6-8 applicants.  After these interviews 2 applicants are shortlisted and given a £2500 R&D grant to explore their idea further, culminating in a presentation to the panel of judges
  • October 2020- Research & Development presentations
    These 20-30 minute presentations are an opportunity to share with the panel a practical demonstration of the project that is being proposed.  After these presentations a winner is selected.
  • Summer/Autumn 2021 – Performances of OSBTTA 2021 winning production
    The winning proposal is developed into a full production with support from the Barbican and is presented as part of their 2021 Theatre and Dance season.