At the heart of MAST’s creative approach is our commitment to supporting the work of local artists and those with a strong connection to Southampton, Hampshire and the region. We are defining this region as Portland to Portsmouth from East to West, and from North to South, Basingstoke to the Isle of Wight. We want to support artists at all stage of their development – whether you are an emerging artist (of any age) or are established in your career, and we particularly want to hear from artists currently underrepresented in our industry.

Through our artist development opportunities we seek to support, empower and enrich the work of talented artists. Our goal is to cultivate the cultural identity of Southampton and create a space for artists where they feel welcomed and inspired. Our artist development work is targeted towards those making live performance work, but we welcome all artists working in any artform and at all stages of their careers to join our community.


MAST Artist Residencies

MAST is a home for artists to create bold, inspiring and entertaining work. MAST Artist Residencies support artists creating performance-based work – this includes (but is not limited to) theatre, dance, circus, music, comedy and spoken word.

Artist Residency support includes:

  • Research and development or rehearsal space in-kind in Studio 2 – this can range from a day to a week
  • Invitation to join MAST’s Artist Network
  • Inclusion in MAST’s website and social media activity (for Residencies of a week+)
  • Please note that we anticipate Artist Residencies to require minimal technical support
  • Occasionally MAST is able to offer seed commissions for exceptional projects

In return we ask you to:

  • Credit MAST’s support on future iterations of the project
  • Create some social media content during your Residency, crediting MAST (e.g. a blog) to help publicise our artist development work (for Residencies of a week+.

The first Artist Residencies will take place between 4-18 Jan 2022. Depending on the project timeline and space availability, it may be possible to offer a Residency spread out over multiple days in Jan/Feb/Mar and later in the year. Future Artist Residency periods are planned for 6-18 Aug, 3-5 Oct, 14-16 Nov 2022 (all dates TBC). Please tell us about your project timeline and ideal Residency dates in your application.

Applications for MAST Artist Residencies are currently open; the deadline for applications is 9am on Mon 15 November. Informal zoom conversations about Artist Residency applications will be scheduled for Tue 16 - Wed 17 November. All applicants will be contacted by Mon 29 November.


MAST Festival Artist Call Out

Small Scale Big Ideas is MAST’s twice yearly festival celebrating performance work made for the small scale. We bring together local talent with the best touring shows to provide audiences with brilliant arts experiences of all kinds. We are particularly interested in hearing from artists who are currently underrepresented in our industry, and in work which tells stories from different perspectives. We programme theatre, comedy, dance, circus, music, digital, visual arts - we’re interested in all kinds of artists and all kinds of art.

The next Small Scale Big Ideas festival will take place 20-26 March 2022. Activity will be programmed in the following spaces at MAST:

Studio 2 

Studio 3


Please look at the technical specifications and decide which space your project is best suited to.

We are interested in programming:

Shows (theatre, comedy, dance, circus, music – we’re interested in anything so long as you think it would work within the technical specifications of the relevant space and the themes of the festival)

We usually programme shows on the basis of a shared risk (usually a 50/50 Box Office split). We are committed to supporting artists, and if this would make it difficult for you to bring your work to MAST, we would welcome a conversation about this.

If applying to bring a finished show to MAST, please provide links or attachments with your tour pack or images/footage/copy.

Scratch/Works-in-Progress (theatre, comedy, dance, circus, music – we’re interested in anything so long as you think it would work within the technical specifications of the relevant space)

Tickets will be low-cost and we programme on the basis of a shared risk (a 50/50 Box Office split).

If applying to scratch some work-in-development at MAST, please provide information about your project and what stage of development you are at.

Café/Bar Performances

We usually pay up to £100 for café performances, or programme on the basis of a shared risk (a 50/50 Box Office split).

You can sign up here.

You have until 9am Mon 13 December 2021.


MAST Artist Network

If you are a professional creative in any artistic field and at any stage of career development, you can sign up to become a MAST Artist Network member. Signing up is free and members benefit from the following:

  • Invitations to free networking and professional development events
  • Regular updates about professional opportunities and events in and around Southampton and the region
  • 10% discount on selected MAST artist workshops
  • 10% discount at MAST’s café/bar
  • Discount offers on selected shows

To apply, use the button below to fill in your details, including a brief paragraph about you and your work. You must be a professional creative aged 18+ (at any stage in your career) in order to become a MAST Artist Network member. We will be in touch soon to confirm your membership.

Apply For MAST Artist Network

MAST Networking Events

MAST holds regular events for our Artist Network members. The next in-person Artist Network Meeting will take place on 20 November. Booking is open now – we hope to see you there!


MAST Scratch Nights

MAST Scratch Nights are opportunities for artists to test out new ideas and get meaningful feedback. They are also an opportunity for audiences to be part of the creative process, giving their feedback on shows early on in their development. We will regularly host Scratch Nights for creatives to bring work that is in development - this is a night for artists to meet, share and discuss with their peers. Where possible MAST will provide rehearsal spaces for Scratch Nights, however, this is not always guaranteed. 

Our first MAST Scratch Night will take place on 20 November, followed by another in February.

Want to see what it’s all about, book for November’s Scratch Night here.


We will be undertaking a refurbishment of our Grade II listed auditorium in summer 2018. Please consider a donation to our auditorium appeal. Your help is essential in securing our future.