VAULT Creative Studios

VAULT Creative Studios was a dynamic programme of free rehearsal space, networking opportunities, workshops and panels, supporting 500+ artists and freelancers across its four week run. Set up by VAULT Creative Arts as an immediate and dynamic response to the cancellation of VAULT Festival 2022, this inventive programme of events provided support, resources and creative opportunities to those most affected by the loss of the live eight week festival programme.

“The three zoom seminars I took part in were super useful and encouraging. It was fantastic to get programming advice, pitch my show and make a connection that I can build on.”

Susan Hingley, Petals

VAULT Space supported over 100 artists and companies with free rehearsal space to use as they wished – for rehearsals, meetings, workshops, content creation and show sharings. An additional videography offer from VAULT Festival ensured that those looking to film their show for programming elsewhere had the means to do so, and the ability to host sharings meant that shows could still gain feedback from an invited live audience.

VAULT Workshops offered 36 online and in-person sessions covering creative development, practical up-skilling and wellbeing support. Reaching over 400 participants across four weeks, this strand of the programme allowed artists and freelancers to discover new skills and elevate existing ones. Alongside workshops and Q&As covering specific creative practises such as Writing for Television with BBC Script Editor Josh Treacy and Tour Booking, offers such as BSL & Deaf Awareness Training, Mental Health First Aid, and Basics of Intimacy Coordination allowed participants to broaden their knowledge of safe, inclusive and accessible ways of working offstage as well as on.

Leading industry figures also contributed to the workshop programme. Les Enfants Terribles‘ James Seager reflected on learnings from 20 years with the company, Punchdrunk Enrichment provided an interactive session examining different pathways to producing, and Boundless Theatre presented a one-day festival providing space for artists to imagine and discuss ideas for a better industry. An online discussion with Lyn Gardner and VAULT Festival’s Head of Programming, Bec Martin, examined the challenges facing early-career artists, the changing nature of theatre criticism, and a deep dive into what the future of theatre might look like post-pandemic.

The VAULT Connect strand of the programme provided network building opportunities for artists to meet, and share ideas – always one of the biggest draws to  VAULT Festival. Artists were able to engage through digital events, including Zoom ‘speed dating’ with Off West End and regional venues and organisations, a Q&A with leading Edinburgh Fringe producers and programmers, and a discussion on mental health and wellbeing with Adam Bambrough, CEO & Founder of  Wellbeing in the Arts, and trained counsellor Ali Ball. Many of the workshops, panel discussions and talks have been made available for free as video resources on the VAULT Festival website.

VAULT Masterclasses provided space for people to learn brand new creative skills from leading practitioners. Introductory sessions to drag with Me The Drag Queen, and burlesque with House of Burlesque’s Tempest Rose, brought a flavour of VAULT Festival’s famous late night programming to curious beginners. Masterclasses in improvisation with the Free Association and stand-up with Dec Munro, co-founder of Angel Comedy’s The Bill Murray, proved popular not only with those looking to learn the ropes of performing comedy, but also individuals and groups looking to sharpen their self confidence.

The VAULT Comedy Festival programme is renowned for supporting a number of new and unrepresented acts, giving them space across the Festival to showcase work-in-progress material or their debut solo hours. As a response to the loss of the 2022 Festival, an Unrepped Comedy Showcase took place on 3rd February. Performing to an invited audience of industry, friends and family, nine comedians who would have performed at VAULT Festival 2022 were showcased in a one off event – which provided additional post-show space to meet with agents, promoters and producers.

VAULT Festival 2022 would have employed 120 freelancers in 2022 across roles such as Front of House, Box Office and Technical. A bespoke series of opportunities and support were specifically created for these freelancers, enabling them to gain new skills, qualifications, and experiences. These included practical workshops in box office, tech, producing, and arts management, courses in first aid, conflict resolution, anti-racism and accessibility training, CV drop in sessions and career advice, and sessions in the skills of live performance, such as writing, performing and directing.