Centre Stage – artist and audience at the heart of theatres

Theatres Trust Conference 19: Centre Stage will look at theatres from the perspective of the people they are there to serve. It will ask how we ensure serving the needs of artists and audiences sits at the centre of our theatre buildings. 

Sessions will explore:

  • how artists are making use of space though current and emerging artistic practice
  • the creative possibilities and challenges of running a theatre
  • the latest developments in theatre design and the people considerations informing them
  • the possibilities of non-traditional theatre spaces for artistic practice and audience engagement
  • creating welcoming and inclusive theatres for all
  • engaging users and stakeholders in your capital project through a human centred design process

Battersea Arts Centre Grand Hall

The programme will include presentations from a range of artists, theatre operators, and architects from across the UK.

Plenary speakers include celebrated sociologist and urbanist Professor Richard Sennett, who chairs Theatrum Mundi, a network of artists, critics and scholars who explore the relations between stage and street.

Taking part in an Artists’ Panel Discussion are: Nadia Fall, Artistic Director, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director & CEO, Battersea Arts Centre and Joe Douglas, Artistic Director, Live Theatre, Newcastle with more participants to be confirmed.

Theatres confirmed as speakers to date include Battersea Arts Centre, Bolton Octagon, Contact, Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, Polka, Shakespeare North, Theatr Clwyd, Theatre Absolute and Theatre Royal Wakefield.

Other confirmed speakers include Derby Museums and 64 Million Artists.
We’ll be adding to this programme over the coming weeks. Look out for further announcements here and on social media #CentreStage19.

Book your place now

Book before 23 August to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate. Theatres Trust Friends and Corporate Supporters can benefit from a discounted rate – please email events@theatrestrust.org.uk for your discount code.

Book now

Members / subscribers of our promotional partners will also receive a discount code through their newsletters. Promotional partners include: ABTT, Creative Industries Federation, ITC, The Stage, SOLT and UK Theatre.


Exact timings will be confirmed nearer the event, but the formal conference programme will finish no later than 5pm. The conference will be followed by a drinks reception that is open to all conference attendees. We hope you will be able to stay for networking and refreshments.


Conference 19: Centre Stage is made possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors:

Theatre Projects, Unusual, Bennetts Associates, Haworth Tompkins, HQ Theatres & Hospitality, Charcoalblue, Northern Light, BuroHappold Engineering, EM Acoustics, Hawthorn, LW Theatres, Plann Limited, Triple E, Harlequin, Yesplan, Robe, GDS, Theatreplan and GoboPlus.

Thanks also to our Technology Sponsor Stage Electrics.

Find out more about sponsorship opportunities.


Thanks to the support of GDS, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of bursary places to students, emerging artists and representatives from small (less than three members of staff) and unfunded theatre organisations. Further details about this scheme will be available soon.

Photo credit: Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre. Fred Howarth

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