New platform to catapult Arden graduates’ careers

Poster for Commercial Break by Grant Battersby

caTaPult is an annual platform event for new, tour-ready shows from graduated students.

A performance platform for Theatre and Performance alumni from The Arden School of Theatre launches this week at the Waterside Theatre.

caTaPult is an annual showcase event for new, tour-ready shows from graduated students providing them with a platform where programmers, funders, producers, critics, and theatre companies are invited to see three pieces of work that are complete and available, and provide the support needed for the artists to take their next professional steps.

It has been created by Dr Wayne Jackson, Head of Theatre and Performance at The Arden School of Theatre to help ex-students perform for, and network with, industry professionals.

He said: “This event is not for our current graduating class but rather for those that have already spent time developing their practice outside of education. As the first ever graduates from the BA Theatre and Performance course have now spent three years in the industry, I have observed a gap in the transition from student to professional that, in other disciplines, is normally covered by agents and representation. caTaPult bridges this providing an opportunity for students to showcase their talents to a broad range of industry professionals who have the power to help them secure their breakthrough”

The first ever caTaPult takes place at The Waterside Theatre at UCEN Manchester’s Shena Simon campus on Thursday 16 September, with the inaugural line up featuring three performances.

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Elise Gilbert, who graduated from The Arden in 2020, said: “caTaPult is a breakthrough opportunity for me. After working with my company, Breadface Theatre, it has allowed me to create and showcase my first ever solo work post-graduation and post-pandemic. This unique event not only offers me a stage and professional guidance, but it also opens up potential opportunities for the future and my next steps as a performance artist.”