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.

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.
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