Who We Are

Theatre Bristol is a laboratory combining collective action for the arts with open, generous grassroots support. We're a group of people who create the conditions to make great art with as wide and diverse a community as possible. 

Click on staff names for email addresses.

Mel Scaffold: CEO
Tanuja Amarasuriya: Director of Research
Sarah Kingswell: Director of Business Development
Gemma Paintin: Artist Support Associate
Laura Dannequin: Artist Support Associate
Emma Williams: Artist Support Associate
Karla Shacklock: Artist Support Associate (on maternity leave)
Miriam Battye: Administrator
Helen Edwards: Associate Producer (working with Agnieszka Blonska)

CEO: Mel Scaffold

I love experiments, particularly ones with explosions. As CEO I help design and shape new ideas that we think could make large-scale change in the arts. Part of my role is being out and about developing relationships and partnerships that will bring new opportunities to the sector. And a lot of it is about working out how these experiments can benefit the most people, connect beyond our existing boundaries and create a healthy environment where more people can participate in and make a living from brilliant art. 

Before this role as Company Producer I gave senior producing support to a number of artists of proven excellence, resulting in new nationational and international commissions, new partnerships and better company infrastructures. In addition to business development, I also scavenged props from charity shops and wrestled with the vagaries of international taxation systems. You can read about the Company Producer pilot here. We're now working with MAYK and Bristol Old Vic Ferment to build on the evidence of this pilot and roll out a new network of artists and producers across the city. 

Until 2015 I was also Development Facilitator for Create Gloucestershire, an organisation instigating change in the arts sector through collective thinking and working.

Previous incarnations include producing live art and dance at Arnolfini, spoken word at Apples & Snakes and new writing inspired by biomedical science at Theatrescience. I also squeezed in an MA in Performance Research to develop my own practice around the interplay of different performance languages, and am particularly interested in creating high quality work and experiences for and with young people, which I’ve pursued with Travelling Light, Real Ideas Organisation and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

I'm Chair of Trustees for Firebird Theatre, a company of disabled actors, and love a good horizon.

Director of Research: Tanuja Amarasuriya 

I’m Theatre Bristol’s Director of Research, which essentially means I focus on designing, analyzing and sharing TB’s ideas, thinking and learning. It’s a new role from 2017, and we hope it’ll help TB to be even more useful to more people. 

I’m a theatre director and dramaturg, also doing bits of sound design and filmmaking when I get the chance. I mostly make work through my company Sleepdogs, an interdisciplinary collaboration with writer/composer Timothy X Atack. We make theatre, film, and sound work characterised by surprising storytelling and visceral, sensory aesthetics. We’re into genre and modern things, and how we exist as humans in a technologically and culturally dispersed world. Sleepdogs’ work has been developed and presented nationally and internationally including at the National Theatre (London), Bristol Old Vic, Seattle International Film Festival, BBC Radio, Manchester Royal Exchange and BIOS (Athens).

Theatre Bristol always strives to champion independent artists, so my role is also about making sure that the lived, current experiences of being a practicing theatremaker influence TB’s direction and decision-making at a senior level. With initiatives like this Director of Research role, the Artist Support Associates and TB Agents we hope TB can keep increasing the profile of independent artists as strategic experts in our industry.

If you want some ancient history: I joined Theatre Bristol in 2005, after being Live Art & Dance Coordinator at Arnolfini for 5 years, after working on Arnolfini’s box office for 2 years. I was Associate Producer at In Between Time, working on their first 4 festivals and international touring projects. Before all that, I worked in a bookshop (national chain, still eking out an existence) and a record shop (independent, now sadly, defunct). 

I’m a human woman. Born in Sri Lanka, raised just outside Durham, living in Bristol. Sci-fi fan. Pedant. Optimist. I try and see as much work as I can, so if you see me out and about and what to introduce yourself, rock up and say hello.

Director of Business Development: Sarah Kingswell

(Biog to come)


Artist Support Associates: click on names to visit their biog page

Artist Support Associate: Gemma Paintin

Artist Support Associate: Laura Dannequin

Artist Support Associate: Emma Williams

Artist Support Associate: Karla Shacklock (on maternity leave)

 

Administrator: Miriam Battye

So I'll try and give you an overview and not the extended dance mix: I'm Theatre Bristol's Administrator, which means doing all kinds of stuff to keep TB, and our website alive and kicking. I'm the first port of call for a lot of people when they first engage with TB and I generally see my role as being enthused about all things Theatre Bristol and all things Theatre in Bristol. You may see me wielding my pom poms on social media, or in a theatre or event near you. I am, in general, quite an enthused person.

 As well as my role at TB I am a playwright, which basically means I enjoy writing chat, and hearing people chat said chat. I've been lucky enough to have plays on at all manner of places and collaborated with a stonking bunch of top tier folks. I'm a writer on attachment at that lovely place called Bristol Old Vic, and recently I've writ plays for Theatre Royal Bath, Bristol Old Vic, National Youth Theatre and the egg. I've also just started writing for the radio and the telly with the lovely folks at the BBC (clanggg - that's the sound of a name drop).

Originally from Manchester I have somehow found myself in the wrong West, but I am loving it though vehemently resisting the long A sound (I like my baths like I like my maths). If you want to talk TB, or T or B, or have any questions, get in touch

Project Associates

Laura Street (Cultural Curriculum for Bristol - dance lead)

Laura Street trained at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance and has been a Bristol based Dance Artist for the past 10 years. She has worked as a performer, choreographer and teacher on a wide range of projects, productions and tours for some exciting and brilliant organisations and companies. These include Dance South Gloucestershire, Oily Cart Theatre Company, the egg, Edge Arts and Travelling Light Theatre Company, of whom is she an associate artist. She is the Artist Director of aboutNOWish who make immersive and interactive work for young people and who are associate artists of the egg, Bath.


Lina B. Frank (Circus City 17)

Lina is a producer and programmer based in Bristol, UK and Malmö, Sweden. She work with Circus Dance and Theatre – with bold and brave people, explorers and visionaries at heart.

Lina is a specialist in artist development and particularly for Contemporary Circus Arts in European context. She is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition Europe, a founder of Interval Bristol, an associate of Live Art UK as well as Ambassador for AMOC in Copenhagen.


Kate Hartoch (Circus City 17)

Kate is a freelance producer specialising in working with circus performance which has grown from strength to strength as an art form over the last 15 years.

Her interests and experience include programming for festivals and venues, commissioning new work, production work with emerging companies and realising one-off events.

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