Pentabus Theatre Company announces it has been awarded a further three years of core funding from Arts Council England, successfully securing £561,995 over the next 3 years. Following an open application process, the grant ensures the company will continue to be funded until March 2018.
Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone said:
‘As the nation’s rural theatre company, we are grateful that Arts Council England has recognized the unique contribution Pentabus makes in creating new plays specifically for and about the rural experience. In the company’s 40th year it is a fitting acknowledgement of both the rich history of our back catalogue and our dynamic plans for the future. With secure funding we can ensure we continue to commission the best playwrights and tour our work more widely across the UK, turning up in peoples’ village halls, theatres and digital backyards, connecting audiences nationwide. Not all companies have been as fortunate as us today, and we’re aware some of our partners will be having a rough day. Times continue to be tough for many arts organizations; we’ll continue to support each other as best as we can.’
Chair of the Board of Trustees Alison Vermee said:
‘I am delighted with the news that the company will receive a further three years of funding from Arts Council England. As a registered charity, Pentabus Theatre Company receives a portion of its income from grants from public sources and this provides the bedrock of support from which we fundraise further to support our full programme. Over the next three years the company will tour more widely, ensuring rural communities nationwide have access to the highest quality of theatre and will see the company expand its successful young writer’s scheme across the UK.’
Formed in Shropshire in 1974, Pentabus originally toured new plays to the five counties in the West Midlands, using of course, a bus. Forty years later this cutting edge company continues to stage work that takes a variety of forms, appearing in pubs, caves, village halls, theatres, festivals and fields to reach out and connect with rural audiences nationwide. Pentabus Theatre Company are currently staging 8 new plays by 8 new writers at their Young Writers Festival as part of the Ludlow Fringe 1-5 July, while their touring co-production with Paines Plough, Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan, will play at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. In the autumn, Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone will direct Each Slow Dusk by George Devine award winning playwright Rory Mullarkey, a startling new play about action, humanity, and the legacy of war which will tour village halls across England on a 30 date nationwide tour.
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