BAC employs a programme structure to support artists which is a bit like a ladder with five rungs, a ladder which developing work can climb. This structure is in place for most of the programming year and the rungs of the ladder work as follows:
1 Scratch Nights. Audiences pay what they can for an evening of low-tech cabaret theatre where artists present work in its infancy, sometimes stopping in the middle for advice, always drinking in the cafe bar afterwards where the audience offer feedback.
2 Two or three night runs of Scratch performances. Often presented within the context of one of BAC's three annual festivals, sometimes presented in a development week in between longer running shows. A single artist/company presents work, not a fully formed production, but a step towards it. Friends and potential friends of the work are identified and invited, developing a network of support for the work and the artist. Ticket prices are low. The cafe bar remains an important space for audience/artist discussion.
3 Two or three night runs for finished work, presented in the context of one of BAC's three annual festivals. Here the work is marketed to a wider audience and individuals from the professional sector, who can further the development of the work and the artist.
4 Two, three or four-week runs of finished work. This time the work is open to critical review in national press. BAC staff collaborate closely with artists to reach existing and new audiences for their work.
5 The work moves on. Artists explore national and international touring potential for the work. Artists can get on the BAC ladder of development at different stages. Work progresses at different rates and can skip or repeat rungs if appropriate. In other words, the ladder is flexible, to suit the development needs of artists and their work. Sometimes the work can have several outings at one of the two Scratch levels. Sometimes work comes in to BAC at rung four, going straight into a run.