News Story

Chichester Festival Theatre has launched a pilot Artists Development Programme for five early career individuals and companies, who will follow a part-time 7–10 month programme that develops their skills, makes vital connections to other industry professionals, and delivers a small creative project that will add to their emerging portfolio of work.

Led by CFT’s Artistic Director Justin Audibert and Creative Associate Sophie Hobson, the programme will include a series of workshops led by Justin Audibert and other leading industry professionals, and a focused period of research and development to work on their chosen project with up to four collaborators.

Ben Grant is a multidisciplinary artist, specialising in directing, writing and performance. He is interested in experimental theatre that utilises technology and multimedia, creating vivid visual and aural aesthetics in the pursuit of immersive, cinematic narratives. Over the course of his attachment at CFT, Ben will be developing his first full length solo show, The Brown Ranger: a semi-autobiographical exploration of Mixed-Race identity through the lens of 90s and 2000s Pop Culture.

Alice O’Hanlon is a queer actress, writer and director originally from Chichester, and a former member of our Youth Theatre. She is creating a piece of theatre inspired by her Dad’s journey with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, incorporating his childhood in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’, and using her experience in the musical theatre industry to display the power in music when it come to diseases like Dementia.

Shani Kantor is a Brighton based dance and movement artist working to explore the intersection of queerness and the working class experience through jazz.

Phoebe Hyder is an Actor, Puppeteer, Movement Director and Puppetry Director specialising in Mocap/Performance capture and VFX puppetry creature effects. Moon River is a solo autobiographical piece about fly fishing, trees and grief, using visual storytelling, puppetry and other multidisciplinary theatre magic.

OnTheNose productions is a comedy feminist group comprising Maddie Bell, Esther Dracott, Emily Benucci and Hollie Jameson-Clarke (all recent graduates from Chichester University) who specialise in making fun of themselves for audience’s enjoyment! Their newest parody musical is hoping to head in One Direction and be NSYNC with their Zayn-y ironic comedy whilst exploring boybands: delving into topics like gender expectations, toxic masculinity, and teens girls and why they’re insecure (don’t know what for).

Justin Audibert and Sophie Hobson (pictured below with the Artists) say: ‘We recognise the vital importance for our industry of nurturing the leading artists of tomorrow but also the barriers preventing artists from our region and under-represented backgrounds to launch a creative career and access their first professional roles. We hope this programme will improve employability and career progression for all the participants and we thoroughly look forward to working them.’

A group of 10 people dressed casually and smiling sit on a flight of stairs, with a metal bannister running up between them, with an expanse of windows and sky behind them.