How we work
We exist to support and improve live performance, to make it fairer, more equal and inclusive.
We believe in the power of connecting people, sharing knowledge and resources, brokering relationships and advocating for best practice. Through this work we play a vital role in developing the live performance ecology of Bristol and the wider South West.
Our vision is for live performance and performance makers to thrive; to be valued, resilient, and deeply connected to more people’s lives.
We are here to up theatre’s game.
We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (2018-2022) and receive £106,985 per year. We are also a Key Arts Provider for Bristol City Council funded through their Imagination strand and receive £12,000 per year. This funding makes up 60% of our annual income.
The majority of our income is spent on our key assets; our staff and the remainder is spent on our programme of work and our low overheads.
We currently operate with 4 permanent roles (CEO, Creative Director, General Manager and Administrator) and 3 fixed term roles (Artist Support Activists).
We are supported throughout the year by freelance roles who support specific strands of delivery (i.e. evaluation or communications)
You can read more about our business model and our annual budget in our Business Plan.
Meet the team
Amy Mason Artist Support Activist
I am an award-winning playwright and performer, currently living in Bristol. My autobiographical show THE ISLANDER was staged at Bristol Old Vic, won the 2013 Ideas Tap/Underbelly Edinburgh Fringe Fund, received 5 star reviews, and was lauded as a ‘must see’ show in The Stage. I also write for television.
Ella Best (on maternity leave) Administrator
I joined as Theatre Bristol’s Administrator in 2018 having been drawn to theatre and dance since I was young. Having spent the last 13 years in the education sector, I decided it was time for a change and feel incredibly lucky to be meeting heaps of fiercely talented and inspiring people.
Eloise Tong General Manager
I am a highly creative, resilient and motivated Arts Manager who cares deeply about building a fairer, more inclusive arts industry. As General Manager, I am responsible for the day to day running of Theatre Bristol. I lead on financial management, human resources, income generation, governance and our climate emergency strategy.
Emily Williams CEO
My practice is driven by a desire to build a more open, generous and connected sector placing care and transparency at the heart of my leadership. As CEO I lead and support the team, drive the creative and strategic visioning along with the development of partnerships, fundraising and business planning.
Marcin Gawin (Maternity Cover) Administrator
Ruby Sant Artist Support Activist
I am a working Artist and Director of a small arts CIC that supports young people interested in arts and technology. I’m passionate about making the arts inclusive and accessible, and specialise in large scale immersive installation work, with a background in circus set design and outdoor arts.
Ruby is on a compassionate leave until January.
Sukina Pilgrim Artist Associate
I am a Poet, Spoken-Word artist, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator and Event Organiser and co-founder of Muslim female Hip Hop duo, Poetic Pilgrimage. I have facilitated creative writing workshops across the world, empowering communities to use the written word as a tool for dialogue and as a means for accessing their authentic voice.
Tamera Heron Digital Storyteller
Previously a fashion writer, I am continuing to explore creative outlets by interacting with cultural movements, art, and music. A fan of live art, I has been a theatre reviewer for the past 4 years, focusing primarily on shows produced by people of colour and from minority backgrounds.
Tessa Wills Creative Director
I make durational site specific work embedded in communities. My practice has social interaction and humanity at its heart and aims to respond to whatever the organisational or social context of the ecosystem is unseen and needs attention. As Creative Director I observe, reflect and consolidate information, inspiring and modelling best practice within our industry.
Our board members
Chinonyerem Odimba is the co-Chair of Theatre Bristol. She became Chair in Nov 2019 and held the position of Chair for the organisation until June 2021, when Chinonyerem started sharing the role of Chair with Laila Daillo. A Nigerian British playwright, screenwriter, and poet. Her recent work ranges from Medea at Bristol Old Vic, We Too, Are Giants for Kiln Theatre, Unknown Rivers at Hampstead Theatre, Prince and the Pauper at Watermill Theatre, The Seven Ages of Patience at Kiln Theatre, and Princess & The Hustler which toured across the UK for Eclipse Theatre/Bristol Old Vic/Hull Truck. As a director, Chinonyerem has worked for Bristol Old Vic, Theatre503, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and more recently BBC Radio 4/ Live Theatre audio drama ‘Braids’. She is also co-director of her new musical theatre show Black Love for Paines Plough which opens Aug 2021. In April 2021, Chinonyerem became the new Artistic Director and CEO of tiata fahodzi.
Chinonyerem Odimba Co-Chair
Laila is an artist working in dance. Based in Bristol since 2006, she primarily devises work for live performance, also working as movement director in theatre and opera. She co-leads GATHER UP, an initiative that supports the developing practices of artists working with contemporary dance and choreography in Bristol.
Laila Diallo Co-Chair
SEE THE FULL BOARD
James is an artist who lives in Bristol. He had his first free advice session with Theatre Bristol way back in 2005. He joined the board in 2012 at a time when very few artists were on boards (and they still aren't on enough) and he's been trying his best to advocate for more artists in leadership roles ever since.
James Stenhouse Board Member
Jo is a UK based artist working in performance, choreography and live art. She also works as a dramaturg, educator and writer and is a founding member of artist collective Residence. Jo’s work is concerned with identity, sensory perception, and human encounter and explores how our physical bodies experience the world around us and how this sensory experience can or cannot be conveyed. Her work is informed by her identity as a disabled woman with albinism and attempts to unpick the ways we look, hear and sense our immediate environment in order to rethink or make unfamiliar these intrinsic human behaviours.
Jo Bannon Board Member
Nick is an independent producer who has worked with a wide range of artists and organisations over the last thirty five years. In 1996 he co-founded Improbable and produced all their work until he left the Company in June 2020. Over that period he has also worked with, amongst others: Stan’s Café, Told by an Idiot, Mark Bruce Company, dreamthinkspeak, London International Festival of Theatre, The British Council, Arts Council England, Nalaga’at (Israel), Nada Theatre (France), Mouthpeace (South Africa) and Wierzalin Theatre (Poland). He is an experienced facilitator and has hosted Open Space events throughout the UK and in Australia, USA, Israel and Turkey.
Nick Sweeting Board Member
Sarah helps artists and organisations tell people about their big ideas. She has helped the Cube buy their building, been awarded a Fellowship to work with Mayfest, and collaborated with young people to make content for Rife Mag. You can currently find her managing comms for projects at The Trinity Centre and working as a freelance marketing consultant.
Sarah Bentley Board Member
Sarah is a dramaturg, playwright, teacher and project manager, originally from Cornwall and now based in South East London. She has worked extensively nationally and internationally as a dramaturg with playwrights and theatremakers both in the making of new work for audiences and the creation of the space that makes that work possible. She is a teacher, mentor and storyteller. The positions Sarah takes are various, but what unites them is a focus on creative development – of stories, projects and others: all deriving from a passion for people and performance, process and possibility.
Sarah Dickenson Board Member
Originally from Hong Kong, Tim moved to Bristol in 2013. Along with being a content creator for Rife, they are a filmmaker and theatre-maker with a lifelong passion in dance and choreography — Tim is always searching for the perfect blend between all these creative forms in their work. From a former British colony, they are especially enthusiastic about discussing the identities that lie between intersections of culture, race, gender and sexuality. They are also a huge mental health advocate and keen lover of life.
Yee Tim Candace Lo Board Member
HOW OUR BOARD WORKS
Our Board of Directors are currently made up of 8 individuals working across the Arts and Culture Sector who care deeply about the work we do and ensuring that it is relevant and ambitious, they support the team and measure risk, capacity and resource against our programme of work.
- 62.5% of our Board are freelance
- 5 out of 8 Directors are practising Artists
Our Board is led by Co-Chairs Chinonyerem Odimba and Laila Diallo who work closely with our CEO throughout the year.
We hold quarterly Board meetings of around 2 hours and 2 Board away days per year that allow us the time and space to delve deeper into a particular area of work. These are usually facilitated by an Artist or Producer.
We hold an Annual General Meeting where we reflect on the past year and our impact, elect the Committee for the next year and if necessary make any changes to our constitution.
Our Board provides ongoing support throughout the year to the team, and where needed provide advice and critical feedback on specific areas of the organisation relating to their individual skills and experience.
We are in the process of reviewing the skills and knowledge as well as lived experiences on our Board and will be launching a recruitment campaign in the not too distant future.
work with us
We are a small fleet of foot organisation that cares deeply about creating an exciting, safe and flexible environment for people to work.
We often have opportunities for freelancers and occasionally PAYE positions.
We are not currently advertising any opportunities.
The best way to find out about the latest jobs or opportunities is to sign up to our bi-weekly newsletter or to check back here.
Our recruitment process looks like this:
- A recruitment pack advertised a minimum of 3 weeks before closing date (this will always include interview and start dates)
- You can email questions during the application process which will be answered within 48 hours
- We usually ask for a C.V. with an accompany supporting statement or video as the application
- We ask all applicants to complete an anonymous monitoring form
- We ensure a rigorous shortlisting process with members team and board where applications are measured against the person specification
- Shortlisted applicants are contacted ahead of interview date and times (there is always flexibility offered around timings)
- Interviews will be in person or online (depending on individual circumstances)
- We bring in an external panel member for all PAYE roles
- We provide access support for interviews
- We offer written feedback to every person that applies and a phone call to those who reach interview stage