- Application and Payment
1.1 The deadline for applications to participate in the Connections 2024 cycle is Monday 10 uly 2023 at 12pm.
1.2 Once your Company has been accepted onto Connections 2024, you will be invoiced for your fee. For Connections 2024, if a Company cancels their involvement in Connections before 20 October 2023, they will receive a full refund of their fee. If a Company cancels their involvement in Connections between 20 October and 31 December 2023, they will receive a refund of 50% of their fee. There will be no refund payable for cancellations after December 31 2023. Please note: all invoices must be paid by 20 October 2023.
Please note there is an additional fee of £75 for any Company bringing a second director to attend in person at the Directors’ Weekend, this sum is payable before the Directors’ Weekend and bursaries are available.
1.3 The NT will accept a maximum of 250 UK-based applications for Connections 2024.
1.4 If the NT receives more than 250 applications, it will select companies to ensure a balance of participating groups by age range, type of group and geography, and between those who are new to Connections and those who have taken part before. It will also consider how Companies intend to involve young people in backstage and off-stage roles. The allocation of places is at the National Theatre’s discretion, and its decision is final.
Due to restrictions on capacity and resources we can only offer places to 250 Connections companies for the 2024 cycle. Every year we are significantly over-subscribed with applications and our policy is to prioritise offering places to state schools and youth theatre groups, in order to reach young people who may not have previously had much opportunity to see, make and take part in theatre. Where independent schools can demonstrate in their application that they are partnering with other state schools in their area in a meaningful way, we will take this into consideration.
1.5 Connections companies will consist of young people aged between 13 and 19 years old, and up to 26 years old for groups with additional needs.
1.6 You must provide one main Company Contact, through whom all communication will be sent.
1.7 All Companies who apply will be notified about whether their application has been successful by the end of August 2023.
1.8 Successful Companies will be sent further information upon receipt of payment.
2.1 Scripts will be available to download as soon as you have been accepted on Connections 2024. This access is for your Company only. The Scripts may only be copied for use by the Company and must not be passed on to any other person or organisation. An online form will be available for you to select your two preferred Scripts. This must be completed and returned to the NT by early-September 2023. The NT will confirm your script allocation with your Company Contact shortly after this.
2.2 Companies will be selected to perform each Script to ensure variety at Partner Theatre festivals. The NT will do everything possible to ensure you receive one of your preferences; however, there may be some instances where this is not possible.
2.3 The NT strongly encourages each Company not to start rehearsing their Script until after the Directors’ Weekend as the Weekend will assist in making artistic decisions in line with the writer’s intentions for the piece.
2.4 If, because of conversations at the Directors’ Weekend, a new version of the Script becomes available, this will be emailed to the Company Contact.
- Child Licensing
Where required by the local authorities of all the young people in your Connections company, the Connections Director is responsible for obtaining all necessary licenses for company members taking part in both your Home Performances and Partner Theatre Festival performance.
- Directors’ Weekend - Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October 2023
4.1 Attendance at the Directors’ Weekend is compulsory for your Company’s Director. If your Company’s Director fails to attend the Directors’ Weekend the NT may, at its discretion, terminate the Company’s involvement in Connections 2024. In such circumstances, no refund shall be paid.
4.2 If you would like a second Director to attend the Weekend and we are able to accommodate this there is an additional fee of £75 which must be paid before the Directors’ Weekend.
4.3 Each Company will arrange and pay for travel and accommodation for their Director to attend the Directors’ Weekend.
- Home Performances
5.1 Involvement in Connections 2024 entitles your Company to the performance rights of your selected Script for up to five performances at your school or youth theatre between 1 February – 12 April 2024. Your Production cannot be performed for any purpose outside of the Connections 2023 Cycle. If your preferred home performance date falls outside this range, please contact the Connections team.
5.2 Your organisation will be responsible for the costs incurred when staging your Production.
5.3 Each Company will specify its choice of Home Performance dates. The NT must be notified of the Company’s performance dates by December 2023 to allow the NT good time to arrange a Connections Mentor Director to attend your Production. If a Connections Mentor Director cannot attend your selected Production date, a suitable alternative date will be sought. If the NT has not received your Production dates by the deadline in December 2023 it may not be possible for a Connections Director to attend your Production.
5.4 Your Company Contact will receive Development Notes approximately ten days after your Production.
- Partner Theatre Festivals
6.1 The NT will allocate the Company to a Partner Theatre, the allocation of Partner Theatres is at the NT’s discretion and the NT’s decision is final.
6.2 The NT and the Partner Theatres will endeavour to enable all Companies to perform once at a Partner Theatre festival.
6.3 If a Connections Director has not attended the Company’s Home Performance due to late notification of dates, it will not be possible to transfer to the Partner Theatre festival.
6.4 If it is not possible for your Company to perform due to theatre scheduling or other restrictions, the NT will discuss alternative options with your Company Contact.
6.5 If performing at a Partner Theatre festival, you must adhere to all guidelines, health and safety and other policies requested by the theatre and theatre manager.
6.6 You will be responsible for coordinating travel arrangements and covering all costs incurred when performing at your Partner Theatre festival.
- National Theatre Festival
7.1 The NT festival will take place in June / July 2024.
7.2 The National Theatre will select one Production of each Script to be performed as part of the festival, chosen to represent an overall picture of the talented young people involved. You will be notified directly if your Company has been selected to perform by early June 2023. The NT will confirm which Companies are invited to take part after the Partner Theatre Festivals season. The decision is at the National Theatre’s discretion, and the NT’s decision is final. Companies will be informed of the Companies selected to perform at the NT prior to the public announcement.
7.3 The NT will liaise directly with your Company Contact to discuss possible financial arrangements for the transfer of your production to the NT.
- International Companies
If your Company is based outside the UK or Ireland, it will not be possible to provide you with a Mentor Director visit to your Home Performance, Development Notes or the opportunity to perform at a Partner Theatre Festival.
- Credits and Publicity
9.1 Any reference or promotion of your Production, the Script, the NT, Connections, and any sponsors of Connections must be accredited correctly. Please liaise with the NT if you are unsure of the relevant guidelines at any time. Guidelines will be provided in the Company Handbook. All publicity materials (including digital) must be approved by the NT before use.
9.2 You shall notify the NT’s press office in good time prior to giving to the media any interview or press release with any reference to the NT, the Production or any other part of the Cycle.
9.3 If requested by the NT, you shall allow the NT access to your Production for the purpose of photography or filming.
9.4 The NT shall have the right to authorise the televising or sound broadcasting of any Production during the Connections 2023 Cycle for the purposes of publicity or promotion, provided that no such excerpts shall exceed five minutes’ total running time.
9.5 The NT shall have the right to take photos and make an audio-visual recording of any Production during the Connections 2024 cycle for archive purpose.
- Data Protection
- National Theatre Terms and Conditions
By applying to take part in Connections you agree to these terms and conditions and also to the National Theatre’s general terms and conditions which can be found here.
Company: the group of young people aged 13 – 19 years old who will perform the chosen Script. The Company can be formed from a youth theatre, school or youth group.
Company Contact: this is the main point of contact for your Company that NT will communicate with during the Cycle. This individual must be over 18 years old and must be responsible for payment and registration. The Company Contact does not have to be the Director.
Connections Director: the NT representative who will attend a performance of your Production at your Home Performance venue – in your school or theatre – and work with your Company at the Partner Theatre.
Cycle: the Connections 2024 Cycle which commences on 1 August 2023 and culminates with a festival at NT in June/July 2024.
Development Notes: this is the report the Connections Director writes after attending your Production. The report will contain comments and feedback on areas of your Production that could be developed before performing at your Partner Theatre.
Director: the person responsible for the Company, needs to be over 18 years old.
Directors’ Weekend: a weekend that takes place between Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October 2023 and will be a mixture of in-person and digital activity. It is compulsory for all Directors to attend and Directors will workshop their chosen Script on Saturday 28 October.
Fee: a fee of £500 per Company which is required to participate in the Connections 2024 cycle.
Home Performances: the performance(s) of your Script at your school, theatre or Home Performance venue. Home Performances must take place between February and April 2024.
NT: the Royal National Theatre, a registered charity (no: 224223) and registered company limited by guarantee in England (no: 749504) with its registered office at Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX.
Partner Theatre: the professional theatre venues throughout the UK and Ireland where you will have the chance to perform your Production.
Production: your Company’s production of your selected Script.
Scripts: the ten scripts commissioned by NT. Companies select one Script to perform during the Cycle.