TROOP: Artist Membership

Are you based in Cambridge or the East of England and involved in making contemporary theatre, dance, live art, spoken word, circus, cabaret or something in between?

You don’t need to be professional, we just ask that you’re taking what you’re doing seriously.

Troop is our Artist Membership scheme for performance makers living and working in the region, with benefits and opportunities designed to build the community of artists and support the quality of work being produced regionally, and to help develop the local scene.

Membership costs £20 for a year and gives the following benefits:

First Manoeuvres (Twice per season) - J3
First Manoeuvres is a scratch night for very early stage work – between 3 and 10 minutes of completely new material having its first outing in front of an audience. We supply one microphone with a stand, a general lighting wash, and a PA system. The event is run on an ‘open mic’ style basis – you sign up to show something in advance, we decide the running order, you take your place when called up. There is no technical or dress rehearsal, so you need to come ready to go straight onstage. Pre-recorded sound must be cued, and you just hand it to us when you arrive.  Audience feedback is given post-show in writing. Slots are paid £50 each.

Views from the ‘Bridge (Once per season) - J2
VFTB is our seasonal mixed bill of work in progress in our theatre space, J2. Slots are usually by invitation, to show 15-45 minutes’ worth of more developed work. Work that has been developed during a J3 residency, or having won a Troop New Ideas Award, are usually given priority, and if there are free slots after that, we will do a callout. Audience feedback is gathered. Slots are paid £150 each.

Fen to Fringe ( July) - J2 / J3
A mini-season of finished work including work by Troop members, with shows that are going to Edinburgh the priority. Slots allocated by callout & application, with callouts usually in April or May of that year. A guaranteed fee is paid.

Creative Masterclasses & Practical Workshops
Every season we offer opportunities for those who are serious about making theatre (but not necessarily making a living from it) opportunities to engage with the practice of artists presenting work in the current Theatre & Dance season, as well as occasional practical workshops in areas such as fundraising. Troop members are entitled to discounted entry.

See the latest theatre & dance season brochure or our website for details of workshops.

Annual Creative Intensive for Performers
This is Not a Drill is our annual week-long creative intensive summer school where Troop members learn performance or creative skills from some of the country’s leading theatre makers. In the past these have been led by Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari, RashDash and Hannah Jane Walker. Free for Troop members.

An annual open call for new ideas, with 3 x winners being offered a £1K cash award, with a bespoke package of other benefits which might include mentoring, rehearsal space, a programme slot, and support to raise an Arts Council Project Grant. In 2019 one of these awards was offered in partnership with Creative Arts East to support a project suitable for rural touring. 

Ad Hoc Space - By individual enquiry (at any time)

  • Informal rehearsal space is available in the Chillout Bar on an ad hoc basis during weekdays (10am until 3pm – or later depending on events in J1).
  • Writing & meeting space is available in The Boardroom, The Hub and the Old Directors’ Office. All rooms have meeting tables and / or desks & free wifi.
  • If you need some space to write, meet or get your work on its feet, just drop an email to Catherine with details of the work, and which room you need for which date/s. Space will be allocated on first come first served basis, with priority given to those showing something in First Manoeuvres or Views from the ‘Bridge. (Space can be used as inkind support in funding applications).
  • J3 Residencies
  • By invitation
  • Troop members whose work we wish to support may be offered a week to develop work in our studio theatre at no cost. (Space can be used as inkind support in funding applications).

Season Launch - Once per season
Join Cambridge Junction staff and audiences for an introduction to the season’s programme over a free drink. It’s free but you must book a ticket (via the box office or on our website).

Troop Drinks
Regular informal get-togethers for Troop members prior to shows in the Theatre & Dance Season.

Xmas Party
Troop members are invited to our Xmas show press night & drinks reception - our annual, invitation-only event for Cambridge and East region cultural movers & shakers.

Facebook Group
Troop has its own Facebook group for networking, information sharing and discussion. Be the first to hear about opportunities and events at Cambridge Junction and beyond. To join, send a request to Troop @ Cambridge Junction.

Advisory Sessions
Members can book an advisory session with Catherine Willmore, Artist Development Producer. Topics covered can include developing your creative ideas, building professional relationships in the region and beyond, fundraising, marketing, touring. She can also give feedback on draft Arts Council Project Grants applications.

Independent Theatre Council (ITC) Associate Artist status
Troop members now enjoy associate artist status with the ITC as part of Cambridge Junction’s ITC membership. This allows you to access ITC’s advisory services, members’ portal, monthly newsletter, networking events, and discounted training.

Ad hoc opportunities to perform
Being part of a network run by Cambridge Junction means members are often the first to hear about opportunities to perform or work in local arts events. Examples include Caroline Wright’s Breath Choir, Brian Lobel’s Cruising for Art, Louise Orwin’s A Girl and a Gun, Sh!t Theatre’s Muppet Christmas Carol, all of which recruited Troop members as paid performers.

How do I join? 

Email Catherine Willmore, our Artist Development Producer. If you’re eligible, we’ll email you back with details on how to pay to officially become a member and receive your benefits!

Troop on Facebook
We also facilitate a Facebook group for shared news, information and discussion among East region theatre makers. It’s free to join – you don’t have to be a member, just send a friend request to Troop @ Cambridge Junction.

* When you sign up to Autorenew you will receive as a thankyou gift, a Cambridge Junction canvas bag, badge and a copy of a brand new factsheet on how to fundraise from Trusts and Foundations as an independent artist. Researched and compiled by our development manager Clare O’Hara especially for Troop members, it contains a wealth of local and national sources of funding which can offer support to independent artists.