The Cellar is a new fringe theatre in Sheffield focussing on new writing, emerging artists, and experimental work. We are a not-for-profit constitutional organisation with charitable aims. The Cellar provides space for emerging artists to rehearse, perform, and collaborate without considering the commercial value of the art we produce.
Who we help.
We help individual and groups of artists to create new and experimental work in an accessible, affordable, and supportive space. Currently in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region there is a lack of attainable space for artists to use. Recently, the closure and re-opening of the community driven Theatre Delicatessen into a bigger theatre has left emerging artists out in the cold wondering where they now fit in.
In Sheffield, there are currently no regular scratch nights, no regular artist meet-ups, a severe lack of connection between potential collaborators, and strong barriers preventing emerging artists to perform work in the theatres currently existing in the region.
The Cellar is filling this gap, by providing a space that focuses on artists that have been rejected from bigger theatres, find it hard to get teams together, and are producing work that is not deemed commercial enough for most theatres.
Ben Price developing ‘The Epic of Baboonita’ in The Cellar. Oct 2017. Photograph by Pippa Atkinson.
• To promote new and experimental performance for public benefit by establishing and managing a theatre space in Sheffield.
• To provide support, advice, and networking opportunities to new and emerging experimental performance artists for the public benefit, in particular but not exclusively by (a) holding regular sessions for artists to meet each other, (b) holding regular workshops for artists to learn about experimental performance art, (c) providing information about accessing performance spaces in the UK to tour experimental performance art.
• For the public benefit, to provide opportunities to experimental performance artists to showcase their art by providing a supportive and affordable theatre and performance space for this to occur.
The need for The Cellar.
Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region is currently lacking a fringe theatre space that is open for everyone. Theatre Delicatessen used to provide such a space, but has recently closed and reopened to a new site, and now has barriers that prevent it being used by new and emerging artists. Rehearsal space in the old Theatre Delicatessen used to be free for some if you were involved in the space, and artistic residencies were relatively easy to obtain, however now rehearsal space is expensive and artistic residencies are difficult to get.
Therefore, many emerging, new, and underrepresented artists in Sheffield have been left to wonder where they fit in amongst growing theatres and spaces that can no longer support them. This is where The Cellar fits in. The Cellar is a place for all new artists, producers, theatre-makers, actors and technicians to get together to create work without having to consider the commercial value of their work or feel like they aren’t established enough to be involved in the several big theatres in Sheffield.
Will Shaw with the salted snare in ‘Club Bazaar’. November 2017. Photograph by Cordelia O’Driscoll.
Monthly. First-come-first-serve. Performers set their own timers.
A week in the space to develop a promising new and experimental work.
Regular opportunities to meet and collaborate with other artists, performers, technicians, designers, writers, and more.
Skill sharing with other artists and gain knowledge in both the subject matter and teaching.
New and experimental performances that are intimate, unique, weird, provocative, and uncensored.
Your funding will mean this:
- There will be an increase in the development of new and experimental performances in Sheffield and South Yorkshire
- Artists will have regular opportunity to meet other artists, performers, designers, producers, technicians, directors, and any other collaborators
- Artists will be able to receive regular feedback on their work through regular scratch nights and resulting discussions
- The team who are managing The Cellar will gain invaluable and rare experience in venue management, programming work, creative producing, artistic direction, managing technical requirements in small spaces, and a lot more that is a rare opportunity for young graduates to obtain.
- There will be 6 more performances in Sheffield this year that are accessible to d/Deaf people, and 6 more performances in Sheffield this year that are accessible to visually impaired people.
- Our bank of between 10 and 20 regular volunteers will be able to exchange hours for free rehearsal space and free tickets to performances, as well as gaining valuable experience in arts venues.
- Performers who have been rejected from bigger venues will be able to use our space to develop their work in order to reapply again in the future with a better performance.
- 4 individual artists or groups will have an artistic residency in the space in which they can develop a promising new or experimental work with a performance at the end.
- The community involved in The Cellar will be educated through workshops by other artists involved in the space, increasing everyone’s skills in both the subject matter and the teaching.
Where your money goes.
First £1000: Towards essential renovation, including:
- Removal of a refrigeration unit in the cellar. It has a dangerous gas in it, therefore we need it removed by a skilled professional, which we have been quoted £500-£800 for.
- Cleaning and repainting the walls. This will cost up to £250 of paint.
- Splitting plug sockets.
Anything after that will first go to equipment, publicity, and furniture, and then the rest towards supporting artists, making our space accessible, and paying the staff who manage the venue a living wage.
This is a breakdown of what we think it will cost to run The Cellar (6 month projection). Most of this is to pay staff a living wage, and the next biggest cost is the renovation of the space, and then the costs to make the performances accessible is a close third.
As a funding group, if you want to support a specific part of our costs, then you can do this using your discretion. As a group of artists, we are new to budgeting and managing money, but are receiving support from the management of DINA Venue, and an accountant that has worked with Theatre Delicatessen in the past in order to learn how to manage our funds properly.
Come have a chat and coffee with us. Tell us about a performance you want to put on at the cellar. Volunteer your time or skills.
32A-34 Cambridge Street, Sheffield, S1 4HP.
Artistic director: Miriam Schechter
Technical Manager: Katie Seeley
Associate Director: Ben Price
General Manager: Pippa Atkinson
Musical Director: Emily Compton
Director: Deborah Egan OBE
Venue Manager: Malcolm Camp