Devon Seed Commissions

Devon Seed Commissions (£500) 

Find the announced theatre-makers and performers here >>

Exeter Phoenix recognises that the creation of new works in theatre and performance plays an important role in reflecting our culture, establishing individual voices as well as group dynamics, and can help theatre makers and artists develop new skills and long-term relationships with cast, crew and theatre audiences, both locally and nationally. 

Exeter Phoenix has previously provided theatre commissioning opportunities with Come As You Are Festival, but this is the first time Exeter Phoenix will be providing a theatre commissioning opportunity for theatre makers / artists to be included within our main regular programme. 

The commissions support the production of new theatre and performance. The aims for these commissioning opportunities are to:

  • Support new, emerging & established talent within Devon
  • Connect theatre makers and artists to a wider cultural network in the region 
  • Recognise and amplify voices & companies from underrepresented backgrounds 
  • Provide a platform for theatre makers & artists to present new, fresh and inspiring ideas from a range of perspectives to a live audience, and to receive meaningful feedback on their work
  • Offer producing, dramaturgical & mentoring support 

Exeter Phoenix will award 2 x Devon Seed Commissions of £500 each to a theatre maker / artist / collective for 10-15 minutes of new material, in the form of a performance or a participatory workshop / experience for audience members.

This commission is geared towards new/emerging theatre-makers who are still developing their practice or experimenting with their style & form, and don’t necessarily have any concrete ideas for a show but would like to dedicate some time to exploration. 


Exeter Phoenix is inviting applications for the Devon Seed Commission, for the development of an idea and a space to explore new & different ways of working. This will result in a 10-15 minute performance or participatory workshop / experience being shared at Exeter Phoenix.

Successful applicants will be awarded £500 to support this process and could be utilised in a variety of different ways, for any kind of genre of performance & exploration e.g. to create the structure for an improvisation, or to make up a series of several short performances / scenes, or to play with the relationship between lighting & theatre design. 

Exeter Phoenix is not restricting how the awards are spent for any of the commissioning strands, but you will be expected to provide a brief budget if you are invited to interview. Costs might include fees for cast and crew, travel costs, covering personal time and materials. 

The successful applicants for all the commissioning opportunities will also receive in kind support which will contribute towards their development process. This includes: 

  • Free rehearsal space at Exeter Phoenix
  • Mentoring and advice
  • Technical support
  • Marketing support
  • Filmed footage of the live performance

The finished performances will be premiered w/c 9th August 2021 as part of Exeter Phoenix’s community programming this Summer, and advice will be given in promoting the sharing and developing audiences. We also encourage the successful candidates to have a Q&A after their sharing, hosted by Performance Programmer, Naomi Turner, where there will also be an opportunity to gather feedback from the audience.


This is open to individuals or groups who reside in Devon, UK.

Applicants must be able to prove they reside in Devon and must be aged 18 years or over. 


  • Applications open: Wednesday 5 May 2021. 
  • Applications close: Midnight, Monday 31 May 2021. 
  • Decisions made by the week commencing 7 June 2021. Interviews will be scheduled to take place in the week commencing 14 June 2021
  • Sharing of ideas and work created up until this point will be scheduled to take place week commencing 26 July 2021.
  • Projects are to be completed by week commencing 9 August 2021, where performances will be held at Exeter Phoenix.


All applications must be submitted via our online submission form below. Before applying, you must read the guidelines carefully. 

The deadline for applications is Mon 31 May 2021.