High-Rise Avenue is a multidisciplinary production company.
The organisation has evolved from a new writing theatre company, under the previous name of Writers Avenue, a theatre company that discovered, nurtured and gave a platform to new writers, under the Artistic Direction of Sandra Thompson-Quartey. In 2020 the company name was changed and the legal status was changed to a Community Interest Company, to reflect the expansion of the work.
High-Rise Avenue has been born to produce entertaining and thought-provoking new theatre shows with the view to develop them for television and film. All shows will be written (or devised) and directed by creatives from Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in the UK. All shows will be directed from directors from these backgrounds.
The company focuses on three strands; Production, Artist Development and Sector Change.
Our work will focus on producing exceptional shows for a contemporary audience while improving the representation of ethnically diverse creatives, performers and gate keepers from the UK.
Over the coming years the mission is to achieve the following:
Producing exciting and engaging new work that depict an authentic and rounded representation of Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino, Pacific Islander, Native American and Indigenous and Minority Ethnic people.
Collaborate with television/film production companies and broadcasters to adapt and produce selected new plays, produced by High-Rise Avenue, for screen.
Collaborate with leading producing theatres, television and film production companies to deliver job access initiatives for mid-career professionals with a contractual commitment to recruit from within these programmes within a set time frame.
Create showcase opportunities for emerging creatives and performers.
Work with theatre and screen production companies and casting offices to include additional recruitment methods that will broaden their search outside of their usual talent pools.
Provide placement opportunities for theatre and screen professionals from diverse backgrounds wanting to make a career change into casting and talent agent work.
Address the nuances of ethnic diversity, discussing the barriers and collaborate with companies who want to remove them.
"There is a wealth of ethnically diverse untapped diverse talent, as well as emerging and mid-career talent who still face barriers. I am interested in finding them, supporting their career journey and working with them. There is a lot of focus on young talent but I am also interested in the overlooked and underused maturer talent who started their careers during a period when the lack diversity was not being publicity addressed, when improvement was not being prioritised.
In 2010 the Artistic Director and founder, Sandra Thompson-Quartey, set up the company Writers Avenue, to discover, nurture and champion new writers and provide opportunities to test new work in a supportive environment.
The company has been known for providing opportunities for new writers through The First 20 Minutes competition and its unique multicultural writing events and showcases. In 2012 the company cultivated showcase opportunities for writers, directors and actors to be seen by the industry.
At the end of 2019 the company was re-branded as a production company under the new name of High-Rise Avenue and registered as a Community Interest Company. The company will relaunch in spring/summer 2020.
Writers Avenue will continue as a strand for the company.
Our Artistic Policy:
To cast talented actors from African, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in leading roles of all our productions.
To work exclusively with directors and producers from Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino and Ethnic Minority backgrounds.
To produce new work that explores multifaceted experiences of Black, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latino and Ethnic Minority people. Our programme of work each year will have an equal balance of universal stories and stories about identity.
Diversity Behind the Scenes
Staff: Diversity leads to increased creativity, innovation, richer brainstorming, new perspectives and wider understanding of audiences and talent.
Opportunity: Appreciating and providing opportunities based on talent not on status, where they trained or who they are represented by.
Speed: Making change happen in your lifetime.
Artist Development Programmes
Sector Change Initiatives
In-house talent agency. 50% of roles in all shows will be cast exclusively externally and 50% of roles will be cast from within the talent agency.
TV and Film productions