Making an application

Applications are invited for grants towards educational and research projects relating to the theatre and dance arts. The list of past projects (below) gives an idea of the range of projects supported by the Trust. Grants are awarded bi-annually, and while the projects themselves may involve others, applications should be made by individuals. 
Submissions, of not more than 1000 words, should include a brief biography, a summary of the proposed project, a breakdown of the financial requirements and the outcomes it is hoped to achieve. Submissions may be supported in a variety of ways, including the use of multimedia, YouTube links and so on.
Grants of between £500 and £5000 are available, depending on the scope of the project though it would be unusual to receive the maximum amount of £5000 as one lump sum.  Applicants will receive half the agreed amount in advance and will be asked to provide a progress report half-way through the project, at which point the second half will be paid. As with the submissions, the progress report may take the form of blogs, podcasts etc.
 It is a requirement that all grant recipients acknowledge the John Hodgson Theatre Research Trust on any public presentation of the research, in whatever form - printed, digital, filmic - using the jhtrt logo which will be provided digitally.
Submitting an Application
Please submit all applications to

Past projects and individuals supported by the Trust include...

Sue Healy
to attend and contribute to an International Federation for Theatre Research at the 2019 World Congress in Shanghai, China. This was an unusual departure for the JHTRT, but it resulted in an invitation to give her paper at Oxford, and then to join the faculty at Lincoln University, organising courses in conjunction with the Guardian. 
Alison Hodge
2006 & 2017 
Two grants, to support performances based on the works of Federico Garcia Lorca. The first, entitled 'Angustias', was produced in 2006, the second, a video dance project based on ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ in 2017-18. Both were performed at Royal Holloway College. 
Cathy Courtney at The British Library 
In something of a departure for the Trust, it was agreed to fund a series of interviews, on ‘The Legacy of the English Stage Company’. Surviving actors, directors, writers and others chart the story of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. As Cathy Courtney says: "It is an uncanny experience listening to a voice."
Brian Astbury
2007 & 2014 
To research his books 'Trusting the Actor' (2008), based on his experiences as founder and director of 'The Space in Cape Town, South Africa', and 'Practical Essays of Practical Theatre' (2014) – a collection of essays on starting a theatre, finding a venue, creating material and the techniques and methods of production. 
Sophie Jump
To assist in mounting her exhibition ‘When Marcel met Motley’ at the V&A in 2008; and subsequently to enable her to complete her PhD and mount an exhibition on the work of ‘Motley and Jocelyn Herbert’ (2014).
Ros Ballaster
To support a workshop and performances inspired by the 'Theatre and Novel in Georgian England'. The performances – of two short 18th century farces, 'Polly Honeycombe' and 'Half an Hour After Supper' – were performed in the Grove Auditorium at Magdalen College. 
Dick McCaw
To research the work of Rudolf Laban for a series of ‘Companions’ to leading practitioners in Drama and Dance, published by Routledge. His research was to be based on all the important Laban archives, including John Hodgson’s which are now held at the Brotherton Library (2006). 

Past Covid Response Grant projects include...

‘Sticking Stakes in a Landslide’ 

Anne Langford
I make theatre as a Director, Performer and Facilitator and I make theatre happen as a Producer, Coach and Mentor. In March 2020 I lost 90% of my work and a planned period of research and development. The John Hodgson Theatre Research Trust Covid Response Grant enabled me to: reflect on and articulate my practice; research best practice in community theatre, place-based work and permaculture project design; reflect on the place of community theatre practice, what it means to be together and ideas of place and belonging in a post-pandemic world; and re-plan the proposed project in my hometown.
Thinking about theatre in a pandemic felt a little like trying to stick stakes in a landslide, over the 4 months of research the context was constantly changing. I used the time to read, participate in national and international online conversations – some led by organisations and institutions, many led by artists and makers. I thought and wrote, noticing that everything I wrote already feels like a history piece.
I mapped my 19 years of practice and identified common threads, noticing how I combine tools from theatre and performance, participatory democracy, community organising, activism, formal education and personal development. This enabled me to articulate more clearly what I do, and advocate for it. I thought a lot about artistry and craft and who gets to make work. I couldn’t make firm plans, it’s hard to do that when you don’t know where you are going to be living. My plans are inspired by Bethany Wells provocation – if social distancing is the site of our work – what do we make? I feel more strongly than ever that we need to localise artistic practice, grounded in social and environmental justice, to support people to process the collective grief and economic shockwaves of this moment.

‘An Actor/Carer Scheme for the Performing Arts'

Natalie Law
I was thrilled to receive the grant from the John Hodgson Theatre Research Trust. I used it to research and outline an Actor/Carer Scheme in the Performing Arts. Inspired by campaigns such as PIPA’s, and my own personal position in the industry, I developed a practical scheme to enable parents and carers to combine work and care for their children at the same time in the workplace. The funding allowed me to research the feasibility of such a project, and has given me a huge amount of motivation and resource to get the scheme off the ground.
I began by investigating former trials with similar intentions, and troubleshooting potential problems. Once I’d collated enough research together and was confident this was a new and achievable idea, I made a plan to put the scheme into practice. Finally, I put together and contacted a list of potential supporters, and was thrilled with the positive response to the scheme.
I’m very pleased I contacted the John Hodgson Theatre Research Trust, and very grateful for the help I received to back such a worthwhile cause, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused such damage to many in the Performing Arts industry.


Adam Clifford
With the trust’s generous support during lockdown, I was able to sow the seeds for my new solo interdisciplinary semi-autobiographical theatre project.
The project is about how white people might begin to take responsibility for anti-black racism and white supremacy as a culture, and is seen partly through the lens of my previous interracial relationship. I have written extensively as a means of exploring themes, developing ideas and articulating my thoughts, including receiving mentoring from Rachel Long, poet and founder of the Octavia Collective. I have also continued my research through reading widely, noting with interest how white people interact and behave when racism is discussed, analysed or pointed out. This is a crucial element to how the eventual performance of this project is pitched to my audience, perhaps winning them over with humour and a friendly face so that when the grotesque arrives, we can go into it together.
With the trust’s support I was also able to take an extraordinary workshop on making original solo autobiographical work with renowned theatre artist and performer Bryony Kimmings and begin applying some of the techniques I learned to the development of the project.
My thanks and gratitude.