Open Theatre Company seeks Website Developer

Closing Date: 17 November 2017

Open Theatre Company

Location: West Midlands

Remuneration: £4,500 for the completion of the work


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Open Theatre Company (OTC) is looking to develop a new website. The current website is out of date and offline. As the company enters into this new season, there is the need for a dynamic, authentic, vibrant new website. We are open to using WordPress, Squarespace, Wix or similar, or to a bespoke build. Staff members will need to be able to access and update content regularly, so it is essential it user friendly. The content for the website will be developed and provided by OTC, and we are looking for an external company to design and construct the site.

About Open Theatre Company:
Open Theatre Company (OTC) is a registered charity, and in April 2018 will become one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations.

For over 30 years, OTC has been working through non-verbal physical theatre, to create deep and meaningful interventions in the lives of young people with learning disabilities (YPWLD) aged from 5 through to 25. Working in collaboration with them we devise a range of theatre, film and outdoor productions. The company works extensively in schools throughout Birmingham and Coventry, encouraging students of all abilities to experiment and express themselves through creativity. Following our recent appointment as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England, we are significantly expanding the scope of our work.

Increasingly over the next five years, we will support talented YPWLD into employment within the creative industries, as well as working as a strategic partner on city-wide, regional and national levels to improve provision for YPWLD to excel as creators and leaders.

Twitter: @Open_Theatre_Co

What we need:
We hope to discuss an appropriate overall menu structure and visitor journey with the appointee during the interview and planning processes. We are a company with broad stakeholders and programmes of work, rather than a traditional production theatre company. We don’t sell tickets for shows, so the focus of our website needs to be on engagement, participation and showcasing the work of YPWLD. The main functions of the website will be to provide information and background to our work, to advertise upcoming performances and opportunities for young people, parents, schools, potential partners to engage with our work, and an expanding collection of young artist profiles and a regular blog.

In terms of design, we have an existing logo and organisational brand, but would seek to discuss aspects of layout, colour scheme, fonts and other key design elements.

Other considerations we expect to see outlined in proposal are how future content will be added/older content updated, and any elements of after-care which could be offered, such as maintenance or additional security, with separate costings.

Due to the nature of our work, we would welcome a discussion about the accessibility of our website. We do not wish to be prescriptive, but may need to discuss aspects such as readability, legibility, reading age measures and similar considerations.

We have drafted a possible website structure which we have attached at the bottom of this document. This is only one potential way of structuring our work, we are open to discussions about alternative menu layouts and sections.

We recently ran a large-scale conference with its own dedicated website. Although the final design is not what exactly what we’d want for Open Theatre Company, it may give you some ideas:

Who will you be working with?
OTC is a small team of people, often working with freelancers and in partnership with other companies. Three members of the company will be working on this project:

– Richard Hayhow: Richard is OTC’s CEO. He has overall responsibility for the success of the website and will be approving the overall project
– Bethan Ball: Bethan has a diverse role within OTC, and will be the key point of contact for this project. Together with Carl, she will be gathering all content for the website.
– Carl Sealeaf: Carl is a freelancer with experience in web design. He will be supporting the implementation of the website, and gathering content for the website, along with Bethan.

We are open to discussions about how the development process will work, and understand it depends largely upon the amount of bespoke work required. We will endeavor to create all necessary content for the website – including images, text, video and elements, before the technical building begins. We will require a minimum of two formal face-to-face proofing meetings, with smaller queries about individual aspects being handled over email.

We envisage the process would happen in two phases:

Phase 1 – Planning & Design (December)
– Initial Planning & Exploration meetings
– All website content delivered to website development company
– Appointee offers OTC various design options
– OTC & Appointee agree design options

Phase 2 – Construction (January & February)
– Appointee builds website according to agreed brief
– Up to three review & amendment meetings

Completion – Mid-February 2018

We are able to offer a total fee of up to £4500.

Selection Process:
Applications Deadline: Friday 17th November, 5pm
Interviews: Friday 24th November
Appointment: Monday 27th November

The selection panel will review all the expressions of interest received and evaluate them against the brief to produce a shortlist.

The selection panel may invite the preferred tenderer(s) to an interview in central Birmingham.

Once due diligence checks have been carried out and references checked, OTC will commission the chosen individual/company for both phases of work, with a break clause in the agreement following phase one to ensure both parties are happy to proceed to phase two.

Please respond to Bethan Ball ( by 5pm on Friday 17th November 2017 with a proposal document of no more than 2 A4 pages outlining:

– How you might approach this work
– Examples of your previous, ideally similar work
– An indication of your fee, including hourly/daily rate if appropriate

We’re happy to discuss the brief in more detail, over email or over the phone. Please email us at to arrange a suitable time for a phone call.