Artist Development Programme - Invitation issued to Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists

Invitation issued to Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists across the country to take part 

“I entered the programme an emerging artist and I am leaving as a mid-career artist with a plethora of experience, connections and opportunities all stemming from this programme.”

Beyond Participant

As Graeae’s Beyond initiative enters its third year, the ground-breaking programme designed to remove barriers and transform the careers of Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists across the UK, today issues an invitation to artists to participate.

The latest Beyond programme will run from September 2023 through to March 2025 and sees Graeae team up with seven leading venues across England for its latest national network of artistic support and development for under-represented artists.

Cast in Doncaster, Derby Theatre, Everyman in Liverpool, Hull Truck Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Octagon Theatre in Bolton and Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot have all signed up to the programme.  As part of the scheme, each will offer tailored development support, advice, training, mentoring and use of creative spaces for artists at every stage of their careers.  BEYOND acts as a bridge for these artists to reach organisational leaders and national venues, to enable them to realise their creative potential and have their voices heard. The aim is to develop greater access to regional opportunities across England and to ensure that Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists are at the forefront of new and emerging work.  BEYOND creates a vibrant national arts infrastructure, by building a pathway for new stories to be told and new audiences to be found. Graeae and all the participating organisations will support the intersectional, talented and diverse Beyond cohort of artists to build the partnerships they need to generate the audiences they deserve.

Each of the Beyond venues is committed to providing skill development, support and advice to a new wave of theatre-makers over a period of eighteen months.  This will include:

Mentoring, practical resources such as industry specific workshops, creative spaces, micro bursaries, networking opportunities and support with funding applications.


Jenny Sealey Artistic Director of Graeae said:

“Beyond is Back.

Bespoke and brilliant. 

Bringing together artists and venues together, Cast Doncaster, Derby Theatre, Everyman Liverpool, Hull Truck Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse Bolton Octagon and Shakespeare North Playhouse will ensure that Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artist are at the heart of everything and not on the side-lines.”


Katy McLeod, Associate Producer at Cast said:

“We’re so pleased to be working with Graeae and other regional partners on the Beyond initiative. At Cast we hope this will help us develop our practice working with Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists, bringing new experiences and voices to Doncaster”

Graeae has a designated Access Manager who will oversee provision of access for all the participating artists both in the application process and once artists are on the programme itself. 

The scheme is open to applicants over 18 years at every stage of their careers.  All that is needed is a commitment to creating live performance (online or in person) as a performer, writer, director, producer, designer or technician.  There are 20 places available to Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent artists who want to create live performance, develop an idea, find new collaborations, be seen and heard, but cannot get beyond barriers to developing or continuing their practice.

For more information and to apply

Final date for submitting Expression of Interest form is Monday 26 June

BEYOND is supported by Arts Council England.