Prestigious training programme tours to Derby Theatre

9 May 2018

A London-based theatre studio is helping to train the next generation of theatremakers and producers in Derby.

China Plate is supporting Derby Theatre to help aspiring theatremakers and producers navigate the independent theatre industry and bring in work through its prestigious Optimists training programme at the theatre.

China plate works with artists, venues, festivals and funders across the UK to make original and exciting theatre.

The development programme has been facilitated by In Good Company (IGC) – a professional development and business support programme at Derby Theatre for artists in the East Midlands, which is part European funded.

The course will provide knowledge and insight into the practicalities of funding, touring and marketing, as well as offering an insight into venue programming, producing strategies and creative business development within the subsidised performance sector.

The Optimists programme is delivered in an informal classroom setting to draw on participants’ experiences and real production scenarios.

Sarah Brigham, artistic director and chief executive at Derby Theatre, said: “It’s a real coup to get China Plate up to Derby. Its well-respected theatre-specific training will benefit theatre makers in our area tremendously.

“IGC aims to support the artistic careers of the future. The Optimists programme supports this ethos, offering artistic inspiration and practical support.”

Andy Mandoiu is the artistic director of Smoking Guns, a newly-formed theatre company based in Derby made up of three graduates from the University of Derby. Andy was invited to attend the Optimists programme by IGC. He said: “I recently finished my Theatre Arts degree and this programme teaches everything that you don't get taught at university.

“I’m learning every aspect of putting on a show and it’s a pleasure to work with China Plate and learn from their expertise. This course will certainly help me further develop my practice and take my company to new heights.”

IGC is part of The Big House which is part-funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). IGC’s business support service provides a wide range of targeted business support, from workshops to one-to-one mentoring, for theatremakers, performance artists, actors, producers, directors and those forging a career in theatre in the D2N2 region (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire).

For more information about the support China Plate offer through the Optimists programme, please email Mary Rooth, ERDF Big House Project Manager, at M.Rooth@derby.ac.uk.

Notes to editors

Media contact: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media  charlotte@capitalbmedia.co.uk or 01226 766900

Attached photograph shows Sarah Brigham, artistic director and chief executive at Derby Theatre

In Good Company (IGC) is a professional development programme for artists making work in the East Midlands. IGC’s business support service provides a wide range of targeted business support, from workshops to one-to-one mentoring, for theatremakers, performance artists, actors, producers, directors and those forging a career in theatre in the D2N2 region (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire).

IGC’s business support service is part of The Big House - a £5 million tailored support programme for the creative and digital industries (CDI) sector. The project is receiving up to £2.2m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, The European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

Match funding has also been secured from the Creative Local Growth Fund programme, funded by Arts Council England. 

Derby Theatre (previously Derby Playhouse) has a long and rich history of delivering high-quality drama to audiences. Through Derby Theatre's unique partnership with the University of Derby, and as an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation, the Theatre has transformed from a traditional producing house, to an organisation of training, mentorship and artistic excellence.

Led by artistic director and chief executive Sarah Brigham, Derby Theatre is bringing together creative professionals and audiences to tell compelling stories and take artistic risks. For 2018 - 2022, Derby Theatre will receive a 59% increase in its funding from Arts Council England, to enable it to continue to build upon the valuable work that it has started. This will mean more Derby Theatre productions at the theatre, more community work, more work with children and young people and deeper and more meaningful engagement with audiences.

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk.

View current news