FAQs

General

What is Tamasha?

Tamasha is a touring theatre company founded in 1989 and funded by Arts Council England. We foreground emerging and established artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. We fuel the future of new writing by producing and touring the best new plays, that challenge and change audiences everywhere. We nurture, train and inspire artists, leaders and young people through Tamasha Developing Artists. We enable theatre makers to engage creatively with communities and audiences, altering the perception of what theatre can be.

Successes like EAST IS EAST, SNOOKEREDBLOOD, MY NAME IS…, MADE IN INDIA and DOES MY BOMB LOOK BIG IN THIS? have won acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

Where is your venue?

Tamasha’s office base is in Rich Mix, Shoreditch, east London. We do not operate our own venue but instead partner with venues around the country to present our work. You might see our plays at Soho Theatre, the Kiln Theatre or the Bush Theatre in London; or at Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Live Theatre Newcastle, or Octagon Theatre Bolton to name just a few.

How can I see a Tamasha show?

You can receive updates from us for advance news about our shows and other activities like scratch nights. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

How do I ‘join’ Tamasha as an artist?

We employ artists like actors, playwrights, directors and designers on a project-by-project freelance basis. See below for some examples of the different ways you can come to our attention. There is sometimes a misunderstanding that Tamasha has a regular repertory company or other pool of artists from which we draw, like an acting company. This is not the case. Most casting, for example, goes through Spotlight, acting agents and casting directors like any other theatre company. If you want to make sure your agent receives our casting calls please ask them to email admin@tamasha.org.uk.

How do I join your youth theatre?

Tamasha regularly runs workshops and sometimes extended residency projects in schools and colleges, but we do not have our own youth theatre. If you would like to book a workshop for your school, please get in touch: admin@tamasha.org.uk.

Actors

How do I audition for a Tamasha show?

Tamasha is small and usually only produces one show per year, mostly ‘studio scale’, meaning for 2 to 5 actors playing auditoria of 75-250 seats. Casting for Tamasha’s main touring productions is always done in partnership with the show’s director and a freelance casting director. Sometimes a co-producing theatre, often a regional venue, will be involved too. Tamasha’s producer Debo Adebayo and assistant producer Samia Djilli oversee the casting process for Tamasha. Please note that our artistic director Fin Kennedy does not usually get involved in casting, so please don’t email him directly. Casting calls are sent to agents and are not usually an open call. Those which are will be advertised via our social media channels and through our newsletters. Auditions are held and our shows cast several months before the start of rehearsals. If your agent does not already receive Tamasha’s casting calls please ask them to contact us to sign up to receive them. If you do not have representation please see below for other ways to work with Tamasha.

Does Tamasha hold open auditions?

Occasionally, and we have an ambition to do more. To hear about these opportunities please sign up to receive our newsletter. We also sometimes offer audition technique workshops with one of our board members, Hannah Miller, head of casting at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Again, these opportunities will be listed in the newsletter. About once a year, Tamasha’s co-founder Kristine Landon Smith holds a week-long series of workshops for actors focusing on bringing one’s cultural heritage into the rehearsal room. We have to charge for these workshops as Kris is now freelance, but her approach is pioneering in her field and her workshops always popular and often sell out. Kris does sometimes pass on actor recommendations from these workshops for future Tamasha projects, though taking part in one is not a guarantee of this happening.

I want to invite Tamasha to a show I’m in / graduation showcase.

Great. Please send an invite to admin@tamasha.org.uk and we will try to send someone along. Please note that we are not a large team and so attendance is subject to availability. We sometimes send current or former members of our Tamasha Playwrights group to see shows on our behalf. Where this happens, they are doing so voluntarily, so a pair of complimentary tickets would be appreciated in recognition of their time.

How do I audition for a Tamasha scratch night?

Tamasha holds around three scratch nights per year, short script-in-hand readings of new work in development, to a paying audience. Casting for these is done in-house so if you would like to be considered please send your CV to admin@tamasha.org.uk. Sometimes we can cast scratches without an audition, from a CV or showreel, or having seen you in another show. Scratches are a useful way of trying out actors we have not worked with before, and this can sometimes lead to other things.

Do you offer work experience for young actors on your shows or in your office?

Not generally. Rehearsals, especially of new work, can be sensitive processes and not all directors welcome observers (though do ask us, you never know). If you’re after office experience we can sometimes arrange a few days’ work experience for college or University students, but there are bigger, building-based theatres in London which might be more suited, with more year-round activity. We regret that we unless your request is part of a course of full-time study, Arts Council guidelines prevent us from taking on unpaid interns or volunteers.

Playwrights

Do you read or offer advice on unsolicited plays?

The short answer is no. We don’t have the resources for this, there is no literary department, no reading team, it is just our artistic director who also has to run the company!

The slightly longer answer is that, if you are really stuck, at the point of giving up, without any theatre industry contacts or in a region without any nearby provision for writers, especially writers of colour, do get in touch. We sometimes make an exception for a writer in need, though in this case the reader will usually be a Tamasha Playwrights graduate who writes a short report. As this is voluntary it is subject to their availability. Please note that as a BAME-led company committed to championing diverse voices, and funded as such, all Tamasha’s offers of this kind are required to prioritise artists of colour.

The main way we engage with new writers is through our Tamasha Playwrights group, submissions for which are usually in September and anyone can send us a full length play (60 mins or more in running time). We read all long-listed plays in full, though for capacity reasons we are unable to offer notes other than to the writers who get onto the programme.

How do I get a play commissioned by Tamasha?

Tamasha is small and usually only produces one show per year. Because of the way the Arts Council funds us, we are required to plan in four-year cycles, so at any one time we are fully programmed, at least in principle, for anything up to the next four years. In the past, new writers have come to us via the writing workshops we run year-round, or through an open call scratch night, usually in the Spring and of course through applications for our Tamasha Playwrights group which open every September. However these are developmental opportunities and rarely result in full commissions. We never commission or produce plays which we have had no involvement in developing.

Sadly we are not of a scale where we are able to commission multiple writers at a time – we can afford one commission per year and we have to be absolutely sure we will produce that show. So the road towards a full-length play commission is a long one and we train and engage with far more writers than we could possibly produce. The start of this is to apply for one of our opportunities whether a workshop or an open call scratch. Our preferred way to get to know writers is via the 10 per year who we take on as Tamasha Playwrights.

If you are more of an established writer with an agent and professional track record, please get in touch to see if we are accepting solicited plays, or if you would like to pitch a new idea.

Literary agents wanting to introduce us to a new client are best advised to get the writer to apply for one of the opportunities above, especially the Tamasha Playwrights group.

How do I write for a Tamasha scratch night?

We usually run three scratch nights per year, one as a showcase for our Tamasha Playwrights group in late summer, another for our Associate Companies in late autumn and an open call in which anyone can send us a play in Spring. Receive updates from us and get notifications. Please note that we usually receive over 100 applications for the open call, with a budget to produce four short pieces, so competition is pretty intense.

How do I get on the Tamasha Playwrights course?

Applications for Tamasha Playwrights open every September. The group involves weekly sessions with our artistic director, playwright Fin Kennedy, in the Tamasha office in east London in the evenings. Any writer at any level experience can apply – all you need is a full-length script lasting 60 minutes or more in running time (around 50 typed pages), though it doesn’t have to have been produced. You’ll also be asked to send a letter explaining your interest in the group and what you hope to get out of it, and a CV (arts or non-arts CVs are both fine). Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an informal interview at Tamasha’s office and up to 10 writers per year offered a place in the group.

If you are based outside London we can sometimes offer travel bursaries to attend Tamasha Playwrights’ weekly sessions. We do have plans to found a new branch, Tamasha Playwrights North, and are talking to several northern venues about hosting it, but these discussions are at an early stage and any group is unlikely to be up and running before 2021.

Do you run playwriting workshops or groups outside London?

Sometimes – but these are usually at the request of a regional venue. If you would like one in your region, please lobby your local venue to let them know and see if they can arrange one with us.

I want to invite Tamasha to a show I’ve written / staged reading

Great. Please send an invite to admin@tamasha.org.uk and we will try to send someone along. Please note that we are not a large team and so attendance is subject to availability. We sometimes send current or former members of our Tamasha Playwrights group to see shows on our behalf. Where this happens, they are doing so voluntarily, so a pair of complimentary tickets would be appreciated in recognition of their time.

What training / workshops does Tamasha offer?

We have a year-round offer of professional development workshops in writing, acting, directing and sometimes other areas like design or stage management. Please check the Workshops section to find out what’s coming up.

Can I shadow one of your writers / artistic director?

We get asked this fairly regularly and we usually say no. This is because there isn’t a great deal to shadow. Apart from when we are in rehearsals once or twice a year, our office is like any other – full of people quietly typing. A venue with a year-round programme of work would be more suitable.

Directors

How do I get to direct a Tamasha production?

Our artistic director is a playwright and does not direct our shows, so we always need freelance directors. Directing one of our national tours requires significant experience including of small-scale touring. Directors of these shows will usually be fairly well-known to us and likely to have worked with us in some other capacity before, or gained significant experience elsewhere in the industry. If this sounds like you, please get in touch. We would always need to have seen at least one full production you’ve directed, so don’t forget to invite us to your shows too. Quite often our co-producers will suggest directors so keep an eye on the companies we are co-producing with and see if they offer Associate Director opportunities or similar roles. As a national touring company we are particularly interested in hearing from directors from beyond London.

How do I get considered for Assistant Director on a Tamasha production?

We try to create an Assistant Director opportunity on each national tour, though this is subject to funding and/or our co-producers being in agreement. There is usually an open call for these positions via the mailing list. As a national touring company we are particularly interested in hearing from directors from beyond London.

How do I get to direct a Tamasha scratch night?

Our assistant producer Samia Djilli looks after our emerging directors list, you can send her your CV here. As a national touring company we are particularly interested in hearing from directors from beyond London. If you have a show on don’t forget to invite us, we’ll try to send someone. Scratch nights are often where we try out directors who are new to us.

I want to invite Tamasha to a show I’ve directed.

Great. Please send an invite to admin@tamasha.org.uk and we will try to send someone along. Please note that we are not a large team and so attendance is subject to availability. We sometimes send current or former members of our Tamasha Playwrights group to see shows on our behalf. Where this happens, they are doing so voluntarily, so a pair of complimentary tickets would be appreciated in recognition of their time.

I am casting for a specific show / looking for an actor – can Tamasha help?

We get asked this a lot and as a small team it is difficult to divert time from our core projects to assist with specific casting queries. By all means drop us a line and we will help if we can, but we do not hold lists of actors to which we can easily forward these opportunities on, and coming up with a bespoke list for your production takes time and therefore resources. If it is an open call, please put it online and tweet us the link, we can re-tweet if it seems appropriate. Please note that all the opportunities we share need to be paid at industry standard rates.

How do I get invited to a Tamasha writer-directors speed dating night?

We hold one of these per year, where 10 directors get to meet each of the 10 current Tamasha Playwrights members in a speed dating format. The session usually takes place in July, with an open call to apply in May/June. This will be advertised through our social media and the mailing list.

I’m a director looking for a writer

Great, we have a large list of playwrights from a wide variety of backgrounds who have had some kind of training with us whose services we can recommend. Please get in touch with more details of what you are looking for and we will try to recommend someone, we can also send script samples to help you decide. Please note that all our writers are early career professionals who will need a fee.

Producers

How do I work with Tamasha as a producer?

Tamasha does all its producing in-house, with only occasional opportunities for project-specific freelancers. These are usually developmental roles and will be advertised through the Tamasha mailing list. We do have some expertise in developing producers, including our Sustained Theatre Regional Associate Producers scheme, also known as IGNITE, now sadly finished. However we do run occasional producing workshops and masterclasses throughout the year. If you would like to send us your CV for general opportunities please do, but be aware that we don’t usually need freelance producers on most of our projects.

Can I produce a Tamasha scratch night or other project?

All our producing of these events is done in-house.

What vacancies are currently at Tamasha?

Please check the Vacancies page.

I’ve heard about your IGNITE Sustain producers’ scheme – how do I get on it?

Sadly this scheme is now finished. We are lobbying the Arts Council to refresh the funding which supported it, any future opportunities of this kind will be advertised via the newsletter. In the meantime please check what professional development workshops we are running.

Designers / LX / Sound / Music

How do I work with Tamasha as a designer / LX / Sound / Musician / Technician?

All these roles on our national tours will be appointed on a project specific basis and usually in collaboration with our co-producers and the show’s director. To send us your CV for consideration please email admin@tamasha.org.uk Please bear in mind that we are small and do not require large amounts of these roles in any given year. We sometimes try out artists new to us on scratch nights.

What other training / opportunities does Tamasha offer?

Please check the Workshops page for what we are currently running.

Teachers

Does Tamasha run CPD workshops for Drama/English teachers?

Yes – we have a particular specialism in using playwriting in the classroom, these sessions are run by our Artistic Director Fin Kennedy who has a long track record of working in schools. We also train our Tamasha Playwrights group to work as playwriting tutors on our behalf. We can run anything from one-off Introduction to Playwriting workshops through to playwriting residencies and full commissions of new plays co-created with students.

We usually have to charge for these but please get in touch to enquire about costs or to see what we can do for your budget. And if you have no budget, get in touch anyway, we can sometimes work with schools to fundraise for specific projects.

Please note that we specialise in secondary school age students, though can run primary sessions by request.

How do I get Tamasha to come into my school to work with my students?

Please get in touch! We have a particular specialism in teaching playwriting to young people, getting them to do their own script writing, or we can arrange for a playwright to co-create a play with your students over several sessions, with bespoke parts written for all. Please get in touch to discuss.

Do you perform your shows in schools?

Not very often, though if the right project (and funding) comes along we can sometimes do this. Our artistic director runs a free mailing list for teachers, please get in touch to join it. However it is usually easier to bring a group of students to see one of our plays in a theatre, then arrange for someone to speak to them afterwards. See below for how to do this.

How do I bring a group of students to see a Tamasha show?

Once you have spotted a Tamasha show you think might be suitable for your students, please book your tickets in the usual way via the venue’s box office. Don’t forget to mention you are a school – there are usually discounts. Please note that Tamasha does not operate the box office to our shows, and due to GDPR regulations nor do we have access to who has booked. If you know you are coming and would like to enquire whether someone from Tamasha can speak to your students, either at the venue directly after the show or in a follow-up workshop, please get in touch to enquire.

Can my group meet your creative team or core staff?

Yes. If you are bringing a group to see one of our shows, please get in touch to tell us when and see if anyone is available. If it is a more general meeting or workshop you are looking for, including Q&As with professional theatremakers about careers in the industry, please get in touch.

Does Tamasha offer work experience for students?

Sometimes, but please note that as a touring theatre company and not a venue, ours is an office like any other, and not terribly interesting. Students interested in theatre might be better off approaching a venue with a year-round programme of work.

Can you supply a playwright for a schools project?

Yes – please get in touch to discuss! Please note that all our writers are early career professionals and will require a fee. However co-creating new plays with young people is a particular specialism at Tamasha, as is fundraising for such projects, so even if budgets are tight please get in touch to see what we might be able to do.