How is your company funded?
Historically the company has been supported by a combination
of Arts Council funding, local government and local
authority grants and business sponsorship. However, in the
current economic climate it has become necessary to ensure
that we do not rely too heavily on any one source of
funding. It is therefore a constant battle to identify new
income streams, grants and donations which will support the
companys work. We receive box office income from our
touring productions but the amount of income is limited by
of the types of venues we play: although many of our rural
venues play to capacity, there is limited seating available.
Prices need to remain accessible: you cant charge
£30 for a ticket to sit on a plastic chair in a village
hall! Where we receive funding from trusts, local
authorities and other sources, the money goes towards
project costs alone: we do not receive anything towards our
core running costs. However, funding
bodies usually allow us to submit a modest amount towards
the administration of each project.
How many performances do you give in
In an average year, around 90 performances in schools and
How do you market productions?
Chalkfoot works with a rural promoter, or
champion in each community, and this person then
liaises with other volunteers to distribute publicity and
sell tickets. Chalkfoot takes responsibility for an overall
media campaign, writing press releases and sending out
photographs. Press releases are also sent to village
contacts for the parish magazine.
Which promotional tools are most
commonly used, and why?
Z-fold leaflets (to accommodate all the individual dates we
play!) and posters at A4 and A3 sizes. We use smaller
posters so they will fit in village shop windows, on
telegraph poles, etc.
How long prior to a production
opening does promotion take place/start?
We normally aim to get print to venues at least six weeks
before the performance date.
How is the marketing budget set?
Budgets are agreed prior to making a funding application,
based on previous costs and allowing for inflation and any
What are the common problems (if any)
encountered when promoting a show?
Slow response from local press, lack of
volunteers/funding/resources. Clashes with other local
events. Organisers who 'sit' on their publicity material
instead of sending it out!
How do you draw up a budget for a
You must calculate such items as cast wages, directors'
wages, script writer's fee and royalties, Composer's fee,
designer's fee, lighting designer's fee, stage manager's
wages, travel and subsistence, rehearsal room cost, building
of set/making or hiring of costumes, transport of set and
costumes, publicity and printing, marketing officer,
administration costs (including staff time and telephone,
postage, stationery, etc), insurance, consumables/running
costs, venue hire (if applicable) and contingency. This
expenditure can then be offset against any income, including
grants and anticipated box office receipts.
How do you audition and cast actors?
We use internet casting services, who distribute
casting breakdowns to agents. Agents will then send us their
recommendations, together with the actors CVs and
photographs. When we read the CVs, we pay attention to any
special attributes or skills we might need, draw up a short
list of people to see, then telephone the agents to offer
their clients an audition in London or the south east. We normally
hold two rounds of auditions, shortlisting the final
candidates down to two or three for each role.
I'm an actor - how can I work with
You will need to have undertaken a full drama school
training, studied drama at university or had some experience
of professional theatre work before we can invite you to
audition. We regret that we can't keep actors' details on
file (unless we have worked with them before) and we do not
have the resources to hold general auditions.
You will need to have undertaken a full drama school
training or have had some experience of professional theatre
work before we can invite you to audition.
Can you read my
Unfortunately due to time and staffing constraints it's not
possible to read unsolicited scripts. Generally we find
writers either through the theatre grapevine or by
contacting literary agents.
How do you work within education?
We can work with
schools in a variety of ways - either going into the school
to work with students directly, taking a professional
performance into the school or taking students out to work
in other venues with professional actors and directors.
Currently we produce one touring production each year, aimed at a Primary school audience, but we are always open to suggestions for workshops and projects and are
happy to discuss commissions for a wide variety of schools'
work, including curriculum based
and creative learning projects. We normally limit these activities to the south
east but have taken larger projects further afield in the past.
Do you ever undertake training work
for teachers or business personnel?
Our Outreach Director, Claudia Leaf, is an experienced
facilitator/trainer who has worked for Creative Partnerships
(now Future Creative), Music for Change, East Sussex Arts
Partnership, Kent County Council and the Care Services
Improvement Partnership. She can offer a range of innovative
How do you work with people with
When we tour rural areas we publish details of each
venues accessibility, including induction loops,
disabled toilets and any access parking. People with
disabilities can therefore choose the best venue for them to
How do you approach cultural
We have an Equal Opportunities policy which is carefully
observed and regularly updated. We try to be proactive about
diversity issues, and are constantly exploring ways in which
we can reflect the diverse communities of 21st century
Britain in our work.
As the touring and outreach arm of Channel Theatre Trust
Ltd., Chalkfoot is governed by a Board of Directors. These are individuals who give up their time voluntarily to oversee the management of the Trust.
How did the company first begin?
Chalkfoot replaced Channel Theatre Company, an organisation
formed in 1980 to bring professional theatre to venues in
the south east. Chalkfoot was launched on 4th March, 2003 to
deliver a more innovative and ambitious artistic
What style of work does the company
aim to produce?
Innovative, fresh and highly professional productions of new
plays, devised work or new approaches to classic texts,
often collaborating with composers or choreographers.
How do you monitor your work?
We monitor the work in person, on a regular basis, and issue
feedback forms to event organisers and teachers. We have a
panel of peers who review our work and give us detailed
feedback on productions. We also take careful note of the
comments of other arts professionals and press
Where are you based?
The company is based in Ramsgate, East Kent.