About the Bursary Award

Stage One is very committed to ensuring producers are supported both financially and professionally especially in these more challenging times. Through the bursary award, we can provide financial and practical assistance to help get your productions up and running and support your overall development. We understand that mounting your first productions can be an intimidating experience and aim to make the process accessible to passionate and dedicated producers, who otherwise may 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.

Stage One are committed to supporting those who are underrepresented in the industry and will prioritise these applicants.

The award comprises of 3 parts:

1. Financial Award

Producers may apply for up to £15,000 to support new projects or themselves. Unlike other arts funding, the Stage One bursary award is not cash to go directly into your production. We aim to support you financially i.e. rent, bills, accountants or legal fees. You can apply for some money for your production(s) and we have previously given this for:

  • Production Rights/Options
  • Rehearsal & Development
  • Writer commissions
  • Legal fees

2. Mentoring

You will work with the Stage One Team to find an experienced professional to mentor you during the time you are receiving support from Stage One. The mentor will be available for consultation and advice, they will also sign off on your monthly report and invoices to Stage One. Further training through Stage One is also provided free of charge on specific topics relevant to your practice.

3. Office Space

A shared office space in London is available for periods agreed by Stage One. The office is in a central London location and is generously supported by Shaftesbury PLC. Please note, due to current government guidelines on working from home, the office is closed until further notice.

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

Applications for Spring 2021 Bursary Awards are now open!

Closing 10am, Monday 22nd February

We are thrilled to be able to continue our bursary scheme through these difficult times. However, cannot accurately predict when we will reach Stage Five on the five-stage roadmap for the recovery of the arts sector as outlined by Oliver Dowden in June 2020. We are therefore looking for applications from producers where their planning is long-term, ambitious but realistic.

Please read our updated bursary guide to find out more on our application criteria and advice.

To apply for a bursary, you'll need to become a Stage One member. Becoming a member offers you opportunties and resources. This will also be your opportunity to sign up to our newsletter where we give regular updates on our development programmes.

Apply now

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.


Awarded every year in Bursaries

Applications close 10am, 22nd February


New Producers supported every year 



We welcome applications from producers at different experience levels and you can apply for a range of different elements. For example;

  • You may have a writer and director on board for a project but need support for a workshop.
  • You may have a venue pencilled and need to raise funds for the hire.
  • You may have secured subsidy for a specific project, however, this does not include a fee for you whilst you work on it – we may be able to support this.   
  • You may be looking for personal financial support to allow you to focus on a project or production. 

The bursary scheme is open to any age group and does not discriminate based on age. The programme is also designed to diversify the current field of theatre producers and therefore strongly encourages individuals from under represented backgrounds to apply.

We believe that everyone has the right to see themselves and their stories being represented in theatre. The role of a theatre producer is integral to seeing a range of truthful and authentic stories being told.

  • You primarily want to work in theatre as an actor, writer or director. 
  • You are at the very start of your career and do not have projects or productions planned – please get in touch with us to discuss other training opportunities available.

We are looking to build a long-term relationship with people who have an interest in theatre producing, who have not had the means to be able to access it. 

You must provide:

  • An application form, including a budget detailing how you would spend the bursary 
  • An up to date CV


  • An equal opportunities monitoring form

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.

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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