Theatre News

Kevin Spacey Foundation reveals 2015 Artists of Choice winners

Recipients receive £10,000 in funding, year-round support for their projects

The UK Artists of Choice
The UK Artists of Choice

The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF), official charity of the 2016 WhatsOnStage Awards, has announced the winning recipients for its KSF Artists of Choice program.

KSF Artists of Choice is a pioneering funding and mentoring initiative, which supports a range of artists working five different disciplines in the UK and US. The shortlists were announced in June.

The winners (listed below), who include UK theatre producer Cressida Brown and composers Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth, receive £10,000 or $10,000 in funding, year-round in kind support from the Foundation and an industry mentor.

Spacey, who founded KSF during his tenure as artistic director of the Old Vic, said: "These recipients represent the very best of emerging artists in the UK and the USA, we are pleased to support them and their projects."

Kevin Spacey speaking to previous grant recipients

Steve Winter, executive and creative director of KSF, added: "We are excited to embark on this journey with our recipients and to work with all of them throughout the next year. As we see the projects develop, each with their own end goal in mind, we will be sharing updates and opening dates."

The KSF Artists of Choice 2015 recipients:

In the UK THEATRE category, artistic director Cressida Brown of Offstage Theatre. Their next project Re: Home, written by Anna Jordan, focuses on the effect of austerity, regeneration, and the Olympics on the Beaumont Estate in Leyton, East London; and is sequel to the first play Offstage ever created, Home.

In the US THEATRE category, Ghazi Albuliwi of West Bank Brooklyn Productions. The grant will support their next project Highly Suspect, a tale of two mismatched roommates struggling with gentrification, race, and sex in New York City.

In the UK DANCE category, Robby Graham of Southpaw Dance Company. The grant will support them in creating Speakeasy, an exciting, mid-scale, indoor touring dance production. Speakeasy features a unique fusion of world-class breaking combined with Lindy Hop, Charleston, and swinging big band music, alongside incredible projection mapping effects that truly evoke the spirit of the roaring 20's.

In the US DANCE category, Stefanie Batten Bland of Company SBB. Their next work Patient(ce) will investigate the eternal present structure of jazz and will consider physical and aural freedom within a framework – the critical relationship to time, within a sound, movement and kinetic sculptural performance.

In the UK MUSICAL THEATRE category, Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth bring us a new musical written in a faux-verbatim style. Documenting events following the assassination of a controversial public figure, it explores how heroes and villains are created, outrage is stoked, and questions our complicity as the public in all of this.

In the US MUSICAL THEATRE category, Joseph Varca of The Village of Vale. An original gothic fairy tale told through music, art, the written word, and performance. Their works focus on exploring the intersection of storytelling and music.

In the UK FILM category, Michael van der Put of Broken Hearted Youth. The company is currently working on its next short Rage, which takes place on a five-a-side football pitch and looks to explore political anger and apathy in the aftermath of the London riots.

In the US FILM category, India Dupré. The seven minute short film Stripped, is a true story of family survival, matriarchal sacrifice and forgiveness. The story follows a young British family on the run in Australia and questions what makes a home and what makes a mother.

In the US MUSIC category, Izzy Gliksberg of The Writers Trilogy. A hybrid of music, film and literature that will be released in a form of short album and three short films. It will be an exploration of the relations between the audio and the visual, and an attempt to bring together the hypnotic quality film with the intensity of a live music concert.

Meet the UK recipients in this video

For more on the work of the Kevin Spacey Foundation visit