Conference 19: Programme

Centre Stage will look at how to put the needs of artist and audience at the heart of theatres.

From 8.45: Registration 

Breakfast refreshments sponsored by TripleE

9.30: Welcome

Jon Morgan, Director, Theatres Trust

Plenary: Theatres and Cities: People at the Centre

How do theatres connect artist, audience and the wider community? What is a democratic theatre and how do theatres, as physical entities, contribute to an inclusive, open society?

Speakers include: Rebecca Holt, Executive Director & Deputy CEO, Battersea Arts Centre, Martin Lydon, Associate, Haworth Tompkins.

Session chair: Paddy Dillon, Trustee, Theatres Trust

Morning break

Refreshments sponsored by HQ Theatres & Hospitality

Breakout sessions

Choose one to attend on the day - no need to book

Breakout 1: Different Spaces, New Possibilities

Some theatre makers are choosing to make and present their work in non-traditional spaces such as shops and railway arches. What motivates them to work in these different spaces and what are the artistic and audience possibilities they create?

Speakers include: Tristan Baker, Troubadour Theatres, Jessica Brewster, Creative Director, Theatre Deli, Julia Negus, Producer,  Theatre Absolute / Shop Front Theatre, Colin Nightingale, Creative Producer, Punchdrunk

Session Chair: Tom Stickland, Theatres Adviser, Theatres Trust

Breakout 2: Welcoming our Audience

What makes a theatre truly welcoming? How can we build and adapt our theatres to remove the barriers which stop them being accessible and inclusive spaces?

Speakers include: Phil Evans, Director of Tourism & Enterprise, Eastbourne Borough Council, Tim Foster, Partner, Foster Wilson Architects, Mark Lewis, Associate Director, Levitt Bernstein Architects, Lynette Shanbury, Executive Director & Joint CEO, Polka Theatre, Katie Town, Executive Director, Theatre Royal Wakefield

Session Chair: Anna Stapleton, Trustee, Theatres Trust 

Capital Projects Lightning Round

A high-speed overview of seven projects offering a taste of current theatre building trends across the UK and the people considerations informing them.

Speakers include:
Liam Evans-Ford, Executive Director, Theatr Clywd, Roddy Gauld, Chief Executive, Octagon, Bolton, Rachael Thomas, Executive Director, Birmingham Rep, Nicola Walls, Head of Arts & Culture, Page \ Park Architects on Leeds Playhouse, David Watson, Associate Director, MICA Architects on Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Mike Yates, Austin Smith Lord on Shakespeare North, Bennetts Associates (speaker tbc) on Woolwich Works.

Session Chair: Tom Stickland, Theatres Adviser, Theatres Trust


Lunch sponsored by Theatreplan

Plenary: People-Centred Design

How do we engage with our audiences and other stakeholders to ensure their views directly inform our theatre capital projects? How does a democratic design process work and does it make for more ‘democratic’ theatre spaces?

Speakers include: Hannah Fox, Director of Projects & Programmes, Derby Museums, Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact Theatre Manchester, Nasima Begum and Jake Howarth, Con:Struct capital project young people’s team, David Micklem, Co-founder & Chair, 64 Million Artists

Session Chair: Jon Morgan, Director, Theatres Trust

Afternoon break

Refreshments sponsorsed by GoboPlus

Creative Spaces

The new generation of Artistic Directors will discuss what it means to take on a theatre. What are the artistic and audience possibilities and limitations of their theatres and what ambitions do they have for their buildings in the future?

Speakers include:  Joe Douglas, Artistic Director, Live Theatre, Newcastle, Nadia Fall, Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO, Battersea Arts Centre,  Bryony Shanahan, Associate Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Manchester

Session Chair: Samira Ahmed, Theatres Trust Ambassador

5pm: Conference closes

Conference Reception

We hope all attendees will join us for the post-conference reception, an ideal opportunity to catch up with contacts old and new. Sponsored by Robe.

These timings are correct at the time of publishing but are subject to change. A final programme with times and locations for each session will be given to each delegate upon arrival at the conference.

Book your Conference 19 place now.