Push 2021 Theatre Commissions

Push Festival 2021
19 January – 13 February


*For all information in Large Print or Dyslexia friendly format please scroll to the bottom of this page*

As HOME prepares to reopen, we’re continuing our commitment to finding ways to support the vital freelance artistic community by creating opportunities to celebrate and create art.

The North West region is home to the most vibrant and pioneering artists. Push Festival is our annual celebration of those who provoke, excite and enthuse audiences. We have now opened a unique set of commissions for the festival…

Call Out for 3x Theatre Commissions (2 Live, 1 Digital)

Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 11 September, 12 noon.

For Push 2021 we are looking for three theatre makers, companies or artists to develop and then present a production (either live or digitally) in this year’s festival. These commissions are specifically designed for artists honing a piece already in development and getting them ready for public performance.

We are keen to hear from a wide range of people from across the region. We particularly welcome applications from those currently under-represented in the industry as a result of barriers arising from social, gender, financial, ethnic, cultural, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability.

What we’re looking for:

  • Artists/Companies/Theatre Makers based in the North West (The North West comprises Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside and Manchester)
  • Applicants who consider their practice and work to be in line with HOME’s ambition to push the boundaries of form and technology, to experiment, be bold and take risks
  • Artists/Companies/Theatre Makers with a clear production idea who will then be ready to stage it at HOME during Push Festival 2021 (19 January – 13 February)
  • A production that fits into a playing area of approx. 9m x 9m (with masking)
  • We are also looking for one commission to be made for digital presentation – the run of this project will extend beyond the festival dates.

What we’re offering:

  • A seed commission of up to £4,000 funding per artist/company
  • Also paid development time to work on your commissions (bespoke and on top of each commission)
  • At least 10 days rehearsal space at HOME (Subject to COVID-19 UK theatre guidelines)
  • 2 or 3 performance slots as part of Push at some point between Tue 19 Jan – Sat 13 Feb 2021 (Live Only)
  • A share of the net Box Office from the performances on top of the commission & development fees
  • High quality capture or livestream of the performance enabling the artist/company to have the opportunity to share their work to further programmers and audiences (for live performances)
  • Bespoke mentoring support from HOME’s Programme and Talent Development team
  • Marketing support from HOME

In 2021, we will be extending our festival to take place over 4 weeks to allow for all the necessary social distancing measures to remain in place. We will be using HOME’s Theatre 1 space in a socially distant way which means there will be a capacity of around 120 in the space with audiences spaced at approx. 2m distance from each other.

To look at previous Push Festival line ups click here – 2019/20

What stage does the production need to be at?

We are looking for productions that are already in development but are in need of further support to finish the production.

In your application, we will ask you to explain what stage your project is at and talk about the development work you’ve done so far.

The piece (live or digital) will need to be ready to perform by the festival (Push commissioned work will not be presented as Work in Progress performances).

How to apply and further details:

We have been working with the National Freelance Taskforce to look at our application process. In response to their feedback, we are changing the way artists will apply for commissions at HOME. There will be now be a two-step process;

Step One: Complete a Expression of Interest and Monitoring form

We are asking initially for brief expressions of interest via this short form or audio/video (see details below). HOME will then employ a panel of independent freelance artists to shortlist around 10 applications to take to Step Two. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer any feedback on stage one applications.

Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 11 September, 12 noon.

Shortlisted Applications notified: Friday 18 September.

Step Two

The shortlisted expressions of interest will then be invited to submit a more detailed application – these artists will each receive £50 to develop their application further, as well as a one to one producer support surgery with a member of HOME programme and talent development departments to aid the application process. This session will be arranged at a convenient time and on a suitable platform for the applicant (i.e. zoom, phone, email etc)

These applications will then be discussed by the independent artist panel alongside the HOME producing team. All applications at this stage will receive detailed feedback collated from the Artist Panel discussions.

Shortlisted Applications notified: Friday 18 September.

Application Surgeries with HOME Producers: Week commencing 21 September

Deadline for Step Two Applications: Friday 2 October

Selection Panel Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 October

Expression of interest questions and tips

How to apply for Step One: Complete a Expression of Interest and Monitoring form

We accept responses in a variety of formats;


Please email your expression of interest and the monitoring form to  PUSH@homemcr.org with subject line ‘Your name, Push 2021 – HOME Theatre Commission’.

Remember the main applicant must be currently living in the North West (Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside)

Accessible forms

Large Print

PUSH Theatre Commission – Large Print

Applicant Monitoring Form Large Print

Expression of Interest Large Print version

PUSH Theatre Commission – Tips for making a video link LP

Dyslexia Friendly

PUSH Theatre Commission – Dyslexia Friendly

Expression of Interest Dyslexia Friendly

Applicant Monitoring Form Dyslexia Friendly

PUSH Theatre Commission – Tips for making a video link DF

Word versions

Expression of Interest Word Version – to download

Applicant Monitoring Form

PUSH Theatre Commission – Tips for making a video link


Still have questions? see our FAQ page here


Image credit: Chris Payne (Sound Cistem by Plaster Cast at Push 2020)