About the Bursary Award

Stage One offers a unique bursary scheme aimed to support your overall development as a commercial theatre producer by providing financial and practical assistance to help get your first productions up and running. We understand that mounting your first production can be an intimidating experience, and aim to make the process accessible to passionate and dedicated new producers who otherwise would not have the resources to do so. We support producers from all areas of the UK including those embarking on regional tours. Bursary awards are available twice year, in Spring and Autumn.

The Stage One bursary awards are intended for individuals who have some experience of theatre producing and have a firm commitment to pursue it as a career. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how a bursary award would develop their producing career with a number of projects in development. Applicants should have ideally (but not essentially) attended the Stage One workshop held twice a year. For more information on the workshop, please click here.

The award comprises of 3 parts:

1. Financial Award

Producers can apply for a sum up to £15,000 to accelerate their development as a producer. Typically the bursary has been awarded for; company set-up, producer’s subsistence, travel and expenses for the duration of the project/s and professional fees (e.g. lawyers, accountants.)

2. Mentoring

An experienced mentor will be appointed by the Bursary Panel for the duration of the bursary. The mentor will be available for reasonable consultation, to track progress, to approve all costs and expenses claimed and to report back to the panel at the end of the bursary.

3. Office Space

A shared office space in London is also available for periods offered and agreed by Stage One. The office is located on Carnaby Street and is generously supported by Shaftesbury PLC.

The bursary award is separate to the Stage One investment schemes in which investments are made into productions on a commercial basis. To find out more about our different types of investment, please click here.

Receiving the Bursary Award in 2016 meant that I could access the essential avenues needed to develop my career as a commercial producer. I have now just received my first Olivier Award nomination (Witness for the Prosecution, Best Play Revival) for my first ever London production. Without the support of the Stage One Bursary this would not have been possible for a regional based producer.

Rebecca Stafford - Bursary Award Winner 2016 & Start Up Award winner for Witness for the Prosecution in 2018

Apply for a Bursary

Spring Bursary applications are now closed.

To apply for a bursary, you'll need to become a Stage One member. Becoming a member offers you opportunties and resources.



Awarded every year in Bursaries

Applications are now closed


New Producers supported every year 



To apply for a bursary you will need to complete an online application which includes uploading your CV and a detailed budget. A budget template is in the resources section of the website and this is your opportunity to clearly outline how you plan to use your bursary award. Applications are then shortlisted and presented to a Bursary Panel made up of industry professionals who may invite you to interview. If you are successful, the panel can award you either all or some of the amount you applied for.

Yes you can. The Bursary panel would like to see a detailed budget that outlines how you will utilise your award and that does not necessarily have to reach the max amount. It is possible for a bursary award winning producer to apply for a “top-up” in the next round to reach the full value of the £15,000.

If you are awarded a bursary, Stage One will talk to you about your current strengths and weaknesses and with your input, will match you with an appropriate mentor. Your mentor is then on hand to give advice via meetings, email and over the phone for the duration of your project and/or bursary period.

Stage One bursaries are to support the career of the producer as they develop several projects. It is not necessary for all elements of your show(s) to be finalised, however we do expect you to have at least enquiried regarding rights/venues/casting etc. in order to present your application to the panel.

Applications for the bursary award tend to open in either Jan/Feb and July/Aug.  Sign up as a Stage One member to find out accurate application opening dates as well as receiving our newsletter filled with ticket offers and opportunities and hearing what our alumni are up to. You can sign up by clicking here and don’t forget to follow us on social media! @StageOneNewProd


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