Taking place in August, the festival aims to support emerging artists.

Running from the 17th to the 31st August, the Virtual Collaborators Festival is a two week live and digital experience to help provide emerging artists with industry support and a platform to connect and create new work in the wake of ongoing theatre closures and the cancellation of the Edinburgh Festivals.

Produced by Olivia Munk, Artistic Director of Part of the Main, and Danusia Samal (Theatre503 Playwriting Award), founder of the Virtual Collaborators Network, the festival will feature up to 100 participants, sorted into teams of one writer, one director and one to two actors. Applications are open until the 8th July, with all participants notified of their outcomes by the 12th July. Each of the artist teams will be challenged to create socially distanced films, audio dramas,  web series, interactive plays, and more.

The Virtual Collaborators Network was founded in March 2020 by Danusia Samal as a response to the closure of the UK theatre industry due to COVID-19. Over the course of April and May 2020, Danusia organised teams of one writer, one actor and one director to create a new piece of theatre under lockdown conditions. Over 50 creatives were involved. The Guardian served as media partner for this inaugural Virtual Collaborator programme, promoting the scheme and sharing selected pieces over three weeks. Olivia participated in Danusia’s first round of Virtual Collaborator matches as a director, and the two decided to team up to turn the network into something even bigger come August.

Meanwhile, The Virtual Collaborator Festival is collaborating with numerous venues and companies, including The Space, Theatre 503, Shoreditch Town Hall, the Finborough Theatre, interactive theatre company Coney, TV production companies Little Door and Balloon Entertainment, producer Jake Orr and publisher Nick Hern Books to support participants through masterclasses, venue space, industry guidance, and publicity. Masterclasses will be delivered over Zoom, and will be available to all participants free of charge. 

The Virtual Collaborator Festival will run from the 17th to the 31st August. To find out more about it visit: https://virtualcollaborators.co.uk/