Thrive is Barbican Theatre's programme of support for local, new and emerging artists.

Drawing upon our history of working with artists, we offer a range of opportunities for artists to get involved with us - from masterclass workshops to performing on our stages, we are committed to giving individuals and companies the chance to thrive.

Our Thrive programme would not be possible without the support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Current Opportunities for Emerging Artists

Thrive Surgeries

Various dates


Online tutorials, exercises and advice during the COVID-19 temporary closure... and beyond!

How Barbican Theatre support artists

Barbican Theatre has supported emerging artists and companies through its history, aiming to help them move to the next level in their creative journeys.

We are committed to offering genuine support to as wide a range of artists as possible, in a variety of ways - from one-to-one advice to performance opportunities, we're always keen to see if we can support local and emerging artists.

Our current Thrive Associate scheme offers in-depth support to a select group artists over the course of a year, giving genuine support and advice in a programme designed to make a real difference.

Events such as Plymouth Fringe Festival and SeptemberFest see us work closely with local partners to offer performance opportunities to artists, and we offer workshops with visiting artists to help with skills development.

We have seen some amazing artists pass through our doors in recent year, benefiting from opportunities such as those mentioned above. Some of the artists we have worked with include:

  • Beyond Face CIC
  • Bryony Kimmings
  • Impermanence Dance Theatre
  • James Wilton Dance
  • Le Navet Bete
  • Mars.tarrab
  • New Model Theatre
  • Stacy Makishi
Bryony Kimmings, Sex Idiot at In the Flesh 2011
(Image: Gem Ward)

Thrive Associates 2019/20

Scratchworks Theatre Company

Scratchworks Theatre Company are a physical ensemble of three women who work collaboratively to create highly visual, playful theatre from scratch. Founded in Exeter in 2013, they share a passion for creating original stories and use a diverse mix of physical movement, puppetry and live music to entertain and inspire our audiences.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Barbican Theatre's Thrive Associate programme. Since our first performance with them in 2015 to them supporting our most ambitious production to date (The Snow Beast, 2018), we have developed a great relationship over the years, so to become an associate feels really exciting. We look forward to what else this new partnership brings”
Sian Keen, Co-Artistic Director

Assembleth Theatre Company

Assembleth Theatre Company was formed in Plymouth in 2014, and have toured to national and international festivals whilst producing theatre for a local and national stage. They create shows for all ages, aiming to bring laughter to the heart of the theatre and to tell stories that are accessible to everyone.

"We're delighted to be named as one of the Thrive Associates for 2019/20. We hope being part of the scheme will allow us to reach the next stage of careers with the company and help push us to create our best work yet, with support from the amazing team at the Barbican Theatre."
Plum Grosvenor-Stevenson, Producer

Doris Johnson

Doris Johnson is a drag queen, a one-of-a-kind comedian, a political activist, a model, and number one queen of modesty. She have been a comedian since secondary school who has fallen in love with drag as a framing device - and her audiences don’t seem to mind her, either!

“Being supported as a Thrive Associate is such an exciting opportunity. I have always been told that for my artistry to be recognised and celebrated I will have to move out of the city – I want to prove people wrong! I’m digging my heels in and building a career here, and Barbican Theatre’s support will help celebrate Plymouth’s fantastic drag scene.”
Doris Johnson

What opportunities are available through Thrive?

thrive surgeries spektrix

Thrive Surgeries

Thrive Surgeries are designed to help artists in and around Plymouth in moving forward with projects, and in their careers more generally.

Surgeries can be booked online and last for one hour. Each surgery is specifically for you – you don’t share the time with anyone else.

Book a slot, and get some advice to help develop your career!

Autact The Duck

One-Off Workshops

As part of our Thrive programme, we try where possible to arrange workshops with artists who perform or work with us.

These workshops are intended to help local artists develop skills in a variety of areas - including performance, directing, producing and more.

Public workshops will be listed on our What's On page when available.


Partnership Projects

We frequently work with partners to increase the number of opportunities available to us - partnership working allows us to do more work, whilst also raising the profile of local artists and widening their networks.

Partners we are currently working with include Papatango Theatre Company, The Wheel Production & Training Company and Next Steps South West.

Opportunities currently open will be listed at the top of this page, or on our Jobs & Opportunties page.

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