How we work
We are committed to developing and supporting the live performance sector to make it fairer, more equal and inclusive.
We work to build a more sustainable ecology where artists and freelance creatives can establish and sustain independent careers, whatever their background.
We do this by connecting people, sharing knowledge and resources, brokering relationships and advocating for best practice through a responsive, seasonal programme of offers.
You can read more about this here.
We are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (2018-2022) and receive c£106,985 per year. We are also a Key Arts Provider for Bristol City Council funded through their Imagination strand and receive c£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 3 permanent roles (CEO, General Manager and Administrator) and 2-3 fixed term roles (Artist Associates or 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
Aisha Ali Artist AssociateAisha is a Non Binary, Queer, South Asian, Vocal Artist, Improviser, Composer, Inclusion and Cultural Producer, Workshop Facilitator and Artistic Director of Kiota: A Collective of BPOC (Black and People Of Colour) Creatives in Bristol. They are trained in the Arts of Fooling and Vocal Improv and primarily work with the Voice. Their compositions contain vocal harmonies, interesting beats and layers of foley instruments. They are passionate about where Art meets Activism and is particularly involved in Anti-racist work. They teach at The Bristol Improv Theatre and manage The Wardrobe Theatre as well as being on the Board of Trustees for Ad Infinitum.
Caroline Williams Artist Associate
Caroline’s ongoing practice is to explore how the dramaturgy of reality can activate conventional theatrical forms. With a background in social and environmental activism, her work is often in dialogue with current political issues, for example the semantics of screens in relation to the war in Syria (Now Is the Time to Say Nothing, extensive touring 2018/19 produced by MAYK), multiple deaths in police custody in East London (You Do Not Have To Say Anything, The Yard Theatre) or the relationship between loneliness and technology (Can You Hear Me Now –British Council/ MAYK). Caroline’s work has ranged from a flash mob opera in the British Museum (Millions of Years, ENO) to a one-on-one installation-performance inside a cardboard box performed by migrants (Make Yourself At Home, Nuit Blanche Brussels).
Ella Best Administrator
I joined Theatre Bristol in 2018 as a newbie to the arts world. I support the team in all things admin, comms and events, and am often the first person artists get in touch with. I particularly enjoy producing Testing Ground, our biannual dance scratch night.
Emily Williams CEO
My practice as a Producer 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.
I work 3 days a week for Theatre Bristol.
Isabelle Drummond General Manager
I joined Theatre Bristol in November 2022 as General Manager and am responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the organisation’s operations. I have previously worked at Michael Clark Company, Sadler’s Wells Producing & Touring, Richard Alston Dance Company and National Dance Company Wales.
Saikat Ahamed Artist Associate
Saikat is one of our Artist Associates offering bespoke 1:1 support to artists and creative freelancers as well as contributing to the creative direction of Theatre Bristol.
Saikat is a Bristol based British Bangladeshi writer and actor and theatre maker. As an actor, he has worked in all parts of the industry over the last twenty years; roles include Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at Bristol Old Vic and then The National Theatre, Vince Arya in Monday Monday for ITV and Mr Chadley in Pennyworth for Epixand.
As a writer, his work includes three autobiographical solo shows, The Tiger and the Moustache, Strictly Balti and In Search of Goldoni, a Christmas family show for Travelling Light Theatre Company, Three Kings, and most recently a play called Book Club which deals with conversations around race. He has experience of both producing his own work and also working to a commission for theatre companies.
Sukina Noor 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.
Sukina is the lead for our Homecoming Project.
Tamera Heron Digital Storyteller
Tamera Heron is a freelance writer and digital storyteller, working with several businesses and artists centred around theatre, music and art. Her work predominantly focuses around the global majority community, aiding them to authentically tell their stories. Tamera studied Fashion, Media and Marking at the University of Winchester, graduating with a 1st class honours. From there she continued to review both Fashion and Theatre. Tamera has written for several publications such as Gal-dem, Black Ballad, The Blues Project and more. Previously she is was the Art and Fashion editor for Onyx magazine, a black-owned indie publication founded by the students of Oxford University. Tamera also works as a creative consultant for Arts & Culture festivals such as Bloomsbury Festival, London, helping curate a variety of themed events for the local community. She is currently working on a project she founded titled ‘Cold Islanders’, a platform centred around showcasing and connecting creatives of Caribbean descent in the UK.
Our board members
Chinonyerem Odimba is the Chair of Theatre Bristol. She became Chair in Nov 2019. 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 Chair
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
SEE THE FULL BOARD
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
Martha King is a creative producer based in Bristol. She is Creative Programme manager at Knowle West Media Centre and co-director of Control Shift. Martha believes art and creative methodologies can enable positive social and political change and is committed to shaping collaborative frameworks through which to achieve this. Over the last 15 years, as a producer she has supported artists to develop participatory residencies, performances, exhibitions and digital works in both community, public realm, arts & cultural venue contexts. As we well as a producer Martha is facilitator, specialising in co-design and design thinking processes. Her background in performance making (MA ‘Performance Design and Practice’, Central Saint Martins and BA Drama, Exeter University) has given her a grounding in collaborative processes and embodied practices. She has a UCL accredited service design qualification and is a Clore alumni from the 2016 Emerging Leaders residential.
Martha King Board Member
HOW OUR BOARD WORKS
Our Board of Directors are currently made up of 7 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 7 Directors are practising Artists
Our Board is led by Chair Chinonyerem Odimba who works 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.