Meet The Producers #8: Emma Evans – Producers’ Place October 11th

Another profile of one of the producers at Saturday’s event… Emma Evans. Emma will be participating in the session about Artists and Producers.

Producers’ Place #4: Meet The Producers is this coming Saturday. Some tickets are still available here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name Emma Evans
Age 33
How do you describe what you do? Consultant and Producer
How did you get started? By accident – but it had a lot to do with the Sherman Youth Theatre
What work are you proudest of? Bringing Peeled by Itzik Galili to Diversions Dance Company in 2007
What’s been the most challenging? My role as member of Council for Arts Council Wales
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Be tenacious
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales?  Or dance or music or anything else? My ambition is for Wales to be a place where people can make brilliant work that connects with audiences.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Producers #7: Deborah Keyser – Producers’ Place October 11th

Here’s another of our producers… Deborah Keyser. Deborah will be involved in the break out session looking at Booking A Tour.

Producers’ Place #4: Meet The Producers is this coming Saturday. Some tickets are still available here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name Deborah Keyser
Age Forty-seven-and-a-third
How do you describe what you do? My role as Director of Creu Cymru is diverse… at any one time we’re producing and managing tours, brokering relationships between makers and presenters, facilitating consortium working, developing new productions/events, delivering Continual Professional Development for our members, connecting with international networks, consulting with ACW…
How did you get started? A circuitous route: from performing, through working for the BBC, stints in journalism and PR, to opera producing, orchestra management, festival administration… and plop into the Welsh presenting sector.
What work are you proudest of? So many fantastic projects – but most recently, being part of the team that gave Creu Cymru a new, very relevant direction following the ACW investment review of 2010.
What’s been the most challenging? Being part of the team that gave Creu Cymru a new direction following the ACW investment review of 2010!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Listen; talk (not at the same time); think; understand; plot; DO.
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales? That more makers are enabled to make world-class work; that makers and presenters collaborate to develop that work and to thrill more and more (and more) people with it. Amen.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Producers #6: Laura Drane – Producers’ Place October 11th

Laura Drane will also be involved in one of the breakout sessions, discussing the relationship between Artists and Producers.

Producers’ Place #4: Meet The Producers is now only five days away. The last few tickets are available here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name Laura Drane
Age 37
How do you describe what you do? Out of choice, I’d say I was a creative producer. Generally I work with clients or off my own back to initiate productions and projects in response to a need, opportunity, challenge, idea, etc. Most of my work manifests as festivals, productions and projects in the performing arts, but not always – for example, recently I did a street art/ flypostering project with Micah Purnell around Cardiff, and earlier this year I did the third science festival of my career, Amazed By Science in Cheshire. If I’m feeling poncey, I say my work places artists/organisations and audiences at risk of change through an encounter. Oh and I am a sometime consultant and facilitator.
How did you get started? I worked at the Edinburgh Fringe whilst I was a student at uni there – everything from tearing tickets and managing queues, to programming and venue-managing. I also did student shows with EUTC/ Bedlam as a producer too – our production of Miller’s All My Sons was selected for National Student Drama Festival and I was commended to join the National Student Drama Company. After university, I was taken on as a producer for Illyria, the UK’s leading outdoor touring theatre company. (How I really got started is actually something to do with Starlight Express, the 80s musical on rollerboots – dare to ask me.) I’ve been freelance/ running my own small agency since 2002.
 What work are you proudest of? I love working with the team at Jodrell Bank, the iconic Lovell radio telescope south of Manchester. I’ve been working with them on and off since 2007 – on Manchester Science Festival, on an orchestral world premiere called Wonder, and recently again on Amazed By Science. But my proudest moment was working to produce their science content for the gigs that Elbow and Paul Weller played there for Live From Jodrell Bank. It even won the “Extra-Festival Activity Award (for extreme creativity)” at the UK Festival Awards in 2012. More recently, I’m super proud to have been associated with Karol Cysewski’s work this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe; and also to have raised £33k myself for a new youth opera I’m going to be working on in 2015.
What’s been the most challenging? Too much to recount in detail (I’ve done more than 60 projects in over a decade), but much of it would involve breakdowns in communication, or badly managed expectations. I often tell people that the thing about freelance is that I very much thrive on the risk/ reward ratio (ie get it right, and I get the glory; get it wrong, and well, you know). I’ve had some really tough moments, but I’m glad I’ve had more that’ve gone my way than not.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Try, try and try again. Get some experience doing anything and everything around what you think you’d like to do just to see how it all works, or doesn’t. Make yourself available, ask questions, remember faces, names and companies, and above all, see LOTS of work.
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales? To make work that connects artists to people and vice versa, and which illustrates something what it means to be fully human. I’m not sure that’s unique to Wales though!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Producers #5: John Carey Williams – Producers Place October 11th

John Carey Williams – Producer at Theatr Iolo – will be involved in one of the break out sessions talking about Booking A Tour

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name  John Carey Williams
Age  29
How do you describe what you do? Everything but directing the show and performing in it (although these days I have a marvellous team who do far more of the work than I).
How did you get started? I started in the bar and box office at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold (my home theatre) and worked my way up.
What work are you proudest of? I’m most proud of getting the money (£350k) for Theatr Iolo’s latest initiative, Momentwm,which will support emerging artists and producers in Wales. It’s funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation, and has been a tough slog through many funding rounds.
What’s been the most challenging? When I started at Theatr Iolo, the landscape for the sector had changed overnight following the Arts Council of Wales’s Investment Review in 2010. The company’s traditional audience base had been sidelined and it was thrust for the first time into a cut-throat, competitive market. Realigning, restructuring and motivating the team was a real challenge, but I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Get anything (job, experience) you can get in the theatre and do it whole-heartedly. It’s a tough industry, and it’s important to be known.
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales? For it to be better, and to place the audience experience more centrally.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the Producers #4: Sian Thomas – Producers Place October 11th

Sian is another of our guests on our panel discussion on October 11th at Chapter.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name Sian Thomas
Age 57
How do you describe what you do? I work with artists and attempt to make their vision a reality. I get them round, over and through the hurdles associated with making work in a budget restricted environment without compromising the quality and integrity of the work.
How did you get started? I began making theatre back in the early 1970’s at Llanover Hall, working with Mike Pearson who was my mentor/teacher, eventually forming a theatre company in 1974 that premiered with our version of Abelard and Heloise at the Sherman on my 17th birthday.

Fast forward past 30 odd years of national and international touring, making and teaching physical theatre, moving to live in Spain for 12 years (more creating and teaching) and a return to Wales in 1996.

Then there’s a gap of 9 years where I was a single mum and did lots of different jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table whilst staying in one place.

In 2006 I set up mes:a which was an artist collective, I was the Creative Producer for the 3 year pilot and worked with Marc Rees, Eddie Ladd and Sean Tuan John 3 very different artists with different needs and expectations. When the funding came to an end I continued to work with Marc.

What work are you proudest of? As an actress, my interpretation of Heiner Muller’s Medea Material with the Spanish theatre company La Tartana 1989-90

As a producer, Adain Avion, the Cultural Olympiad project in 2012 as winner of the Artists Taking the Lead commission with Marc Rees. The scale and complexity of the project was extraordinary and we were a very small delivery team.

What’s been the most challenging? As part of the Adain Avion project, getting my head around and adhering to the regulations set by LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) and the complexities of insuring such a large and high risk project.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Love your job, it’s too hard to do it without passion. Work closely and respectfully with the artist, listen to their needs and be firm with the budget. Take care of all of your team, happy people work harder! Always take a break after a big project.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Producers #3: Michael Salmon – Producers Place Oct 11th

Michael Salmon is a guest on our panel discussion on October 11th at Chapter.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name Mike Salmon
Age 28
How do you describe what you do? Producer and Project Manager
How did you get started? I started in theatre administration back in 2008 when I joined the Sherman Theatre Company (now Sherman Cymru). After a brief stint working in feature film finance, I joined the newly created NTW as one of its founding members.
What work are you proudest of? My input into the foundation of NTW and the establishment of my own company Waking Exploits.
What’s been the most challenging? Working on aspirational projects with short lead-in times and small budgets (this is a positive challenge to have as a Producer and also a thrill!)
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? Do it, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. People will depend on you, and you need to be confident that you can deliver. People are always happy to help and share knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask.
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales? I have an ambition and passion to see the best work from Wales staged throughout the UK and internationally on a regular basis. We have a wealth of talent that we need to be proud of.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet The Producers #2: Sarah Jane Leigh – Producers Place Oct 11th

Sarah Jane Leigh is a guest on our panel discussion on October 11th at Chapter.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/producers-place-4-meet-the-producers-tickets-13151343021

Name  Sarah Jane Leigh
Age  27
How do you describe what you do? I am inspired by the artists I work with and have a passion for supporting them to make and promote the work they are compelled to create.

I am interested in exploring the way that art forms can collaborate and inform each other. It is important to me that all of my work is digitally connected, because I see the internet as an exciting and innovative space for the Arts to create within, share work and explore.

I have a practical knowledge of the performing arts which means that I have a diverse range of skills to offer the creative individuals and organisations I work with. I strive to combine creativity with structure and efficiency, making sure there is a balance between the two elements of my work. It is my responsibility to create organised and strong structures in which creativity can flourish.

How did you get started? I went to University at Goldsmith’s and studied Drama and Theatre Arts as a degree and then did a Master’s in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy. I worked for a small theatre company as an Assistant Producer for free to gain experience and then started to gain experience through National Theatre Wales TEAM and working for individual artists.
What work are you proudest of?  Can’t choose :)
What’s been the most challenging? Working independently outside of an organisation.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone wanting to do what you do? To just do it. Gain as much experience as possible by shadowing and gaining work experience, and then just going out there and doing it. Don’t be afraid to not know the answers, it’s all about problem solving and finding them!
What’s your ambition for theatre from Wales? I would like for the talent of Wales to be shown internationally. I would like to see artists be supported to be more challenging and inventive with their work, and to be paid fairly to do this.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment