Royal & Derngate launch festival dedicated to championing local artists

Written by on October 13, 2020

Royal & Derngate’s Generate Talent Development programme is thrilled to announce Gen-Fest; a weeklong online festival this autumn dedicated to supporting the work of Northamptonshire artists.

Taking place from Monday 2 to Sunday 8 November 2020, Gen-Fest will showcase the work of Royal & Derngate’s latest Generate Artists – local performers working closely with the venue to create new work – and provide a host of other learning and training opportunities through masterclasses and Q&A sessions for professional artists at any stage of their career to access.

The week-long programme of free events includes 9 live-streamed scratch performances plus 23 workshops and masterclasses with companies including Improbable, Hydrocracker and Spymonkey, Nottingham Playhouse and In Good Company, on subjects ranging from lighting design, casting and devising, to networking, fundraising and budgeting. The venue will also live stream its 2015 co-production of Spymonkey and Told by an Idiot’s Every Last Trick for free to all participants.

The featured Generate Artists sharing their scratch performances are Joshua Baldwin, Michaela Blackburn, Helen Clifford, Tristan Jackson-Pate, Amy Jones, Henry C. Krempels, Megan Lucas, Beth Markey, Amina Moss, Andy Routledge, Georgia Tillery Randak, Joe Roberts and Bobby-Lee Scott.

Alongside the platform for Royal & Derngate’s supported Generate artists this year, Gen-Fest aims to provide an inspiring range of free opportunities for creatives across the region and beyond.

Royal & Derngate Creative Learning Associate Erica Martin commented “Northamptonshire is a region full of diverse and incredible artists making interesting work, with a great enthusiasm for sharing their wide range of knowledge and skills. I’m thrilled we are able to offer this platform to showcase their talents and offer a broad programme of workshops both for artists in our region and those further afield. I hope this will be the first of many online festivals dedicated to those whose careers are clearly viable.” 

Royal & Derngate Artistic Director James Dacre added “While we can’t yet open our auditoriums for their performances, it has been incredibly rewarding to see artists across Northamptonshire continue to collaborate and share their work with one another through our Generate programme online. We’re thrilled that this process will culminate next month in this online festival of work, complemented by a wide-ranging programme of masterclasses and workshops delivered by our Resident Ensemble companies and Creative Learning team working alongside many of our regular associates.”

Launched in 2016, Generate is Royal & Derngate’s year-long artist development programme which aims to strengthen the artistic community in Northamptonshire through connections, collaborations and conversations. Local artists take part in a year of initiatives that help curate new work with Royal & Derngate providing more than 500 hours of staff time, 22 days of rehearsal space and more than 60 workshops and events for each year’s artists.

Since 2012 nearly 2500 artists have been supported by Royal & Derngate’s artist development programmes leading to 3 writing-commissions, 8 Assistant Director placements and partnerships with Plaines Plough, Perfect Pitch, Diverse City, National Theatre Studio, China Plate, High Tide, Improbable and The Pleasance to name a few.

Gen-Fest can be accessed at All performances and events are free, but places must be booked in advance.

Download the full brochure of performances and workshops here.

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