Lighthouse's first open call for a £10,000 commission, to support and develop new relationships.

In recent years Lighthouse has awarded commissioning funds to a number of artists and companies who we regularly programme and work with including: Dante or Die, Gecko, Gandini Juggling and Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company. This is the first time we have made an open call to support and develop new relationships. 

The award will go to an artist or company making work suitable to present in our Sherling Studio that can be programmed in 2022 or 2023. It is anticipated the commission will support bids for further funding. Lighthouse will also consider supporting the work with rehearsal space and discuss opportunities for hot-desking. 

This award is about supporting and celebrating new and innovative professional work. We welcome approaches from both new and established artists and companies.  We welcome productions that use new technology, physical theatre, puppets, circus or other creative staging and production devises to tell interesting stories. We won’t shy away from difficult or challenging subjects.  

The successful artist or company will be informed in mid-January with an official announcement at the Dorset Artists Festival in January 2022. 

Please note this application is about whetting our appetites for further discussion and, if we think it is suitable, we’ll be in touch for further conversations and meetings before we make a final decision.

Artists who have been supported with a Sanctuary Residency this summer are welcome to apply. 

Please note if you are unsuccessful there maybe other ways we can support you with space and advise.  

This commission is for professional artists and companies. 

  • Applications open from 1 October 2021  
  • Deadline for pitches 30 November 2021. Further conversations with those artists and companies we wish to pursue to take place in December with a final decision made no later than mid- January 2022. 


Important – to be considered your production will need to comply to all the following criteria: 

  • suitable to be performed in the Lighthouse’s Sherling Studio  
  • run at a minimum of 60 mins 
  • suitable for an adult audience 14 plus 
  • maximum cast of six – ie suitable for studio scale budgets 
  • a new production not previously staged 

In addition –productions should include at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Includes themes that address issues and celebrate people of the Global Majority, those who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQ+
  • You and/or cast members include people of the Global Majority, those who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQ+ 
  • You are based in Dorset  
  • Includes themes that address contemporary rural and/or seaside issues  

We want our commissioned artists to reflect our audiences and communities. We encourage applications from people who are underrepresented in the arts, including people who experience racism, identify as working class, have disabilities, are from the LGBTQ+ community, are care experienced or are discriminated against. 

If you would like to be considered, please complete the Application Form to gives us more information about your production and send to: 

If you are unable to download the application form and require a version in Word format, please email who will be happy to email you a copy. 

Paula Hammond, Producer: artist development 

This has been made possible with funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation