As part of the Unity Theatre Building a Future emergency response programme, they’ve pulled together a group of writers, producers, directors, performers, and industry professionals to share their career journeys, in the hope of debunking some myths of what the stereotypical ‘arts professional’ looks like.
Our No One Way with.. events are weekly informal discussions led by those working in the arts, where they will share their story, offer advice and resources that helped them on their way, and listen to any stories of yours.
The first wave of guests has now been announced:
Thu 28 May, 11:30am – Freelance Producer and Consultant Ellie Claughton has worked with companies across the UK and is currently Producer for LUNG, Breach Theatre and Barrel Organ. She began her career at Headlong, was shortlisted for The Old Vic 12 (2017) and trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in MA Creative Producing (Distinction). She is Chair of the Board of Trustees for She Productions and a Trustee of Zoo Co. Ellie’s session will offer insight into what her job involves, how she picks her projects and advice on how to sustain a career as a freelancer producer.
Mon 1 June, 11:30am – Director Gitika Buttoo is a British Indian Director from Yorkshire. Her most recent credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre & CAST), Trojan Horse (UK Tour), Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Birmingham Opera Company) and Beyond Shame (Derby Theatre). Gitika will cover her career to date as well as hold an open conversation around making theatre inclusive: getting rid of boundaries for both artists and audiences.
Thu 4 June, 4pm – Liverpool Playwright Luke Barnes (The Jumper Factory, The Young Vic; All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, The Bush Theatre & Middle Child) will discuss his career and the lessons he has learnt to date, including how to articulate your projects to producers to instil confidence. He will also discuss the art of balancing what you’re trying to achieve as an artist, setting your own criteria for success and recognising the need for profile.
Thu 11 June, 11:30am, Artistic Director Matthew Xia, will host a session discussing his career to date. Matthew was appointed Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company in 2018. He is a former Associate Artistic Director of Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Director in Residence at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; and Associate Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East. He is currently an Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse – where he has directed One Night in Miami and Shebeen. Matthew is a founding member of Act for Change, a trustee of Artistic Directors of the Future and Patron of Common. Recent productions include Blue/Orange and Sizwe Banzi is Dead (Young Vic) Frankenstein and Into The Woods (Royal Exchange), Wish List (Royal Court), Eden (Hampstead Downstairs), Bloodknot and Amsterdam (Orange Tree). Matthew is also a DJ, composer and sound designer under the pseudonym Excalibah.
Thu 18 June, 10:30am – Writer, artist and performer Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome. Touretteshero celebrates the humour and creativity of Tourettes and shares it with as wide an audience as possible. In 2014 Jess co-devised Backstage In Biscuit Land, which debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe that year, winning the Total Theatre Award for Best Emerging Company. She has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer and Disability Now. In this session Jess will discuss her career to date.
Thu 25 June, 11:30am – Nina Hajiyianni is Artistic Director of Action Transport Theatre based in Ellesmere Port, one of the leading children and young people’s theatre companies in the England. Nina has created challenging and original work for children and family audiences for 20 years+. Nina will talk about the principles of creating child-centred work which aims to appeal to adults as much as children and what her creative process looks like. She will open up discussions about how might go about making meaningful work for our current time, from developing ideas to production.
Actor Melissa John’s career has seen her perform on both stage and screen including one of the lead roles in upcoming BBC One Drama – ‘LIFE’ written Mike Bartlett. Other credits include Imogen on Coronation Street, Sadie in The Interceptor and theatre credits with Lyric Hammersmith/HOME, Sheffield Crucible, Live Theatre to name just a few. She was named as a BAFTA Elevate actor 19/20.Melissa is also an ambassador and Supporter of change for actors with disabilities, breaking down the barriers faced by disabled actors and changing perceptions of disability. For this work she has won many awards. In today’s conversation Melissa will discuss her career to date and words of encouragement for those also wanting to make it in the industry.
HOME’s Head of Programme Kevin Jamieson teams up with Unity Artistic Director Gordon Millar from either side of the East Lancs in this programming and producing special. Together they will discuss their careers to date, exploring both venue and company producing, touring and developing work, and how to produce and programme work in different spaces for different audiences.
Artist, writer and performer Scottee, who was due to perform at Unity with Class this April, joins to discuss carving a career in the industry without formal education. Pulling on themes from the show Class, Scottee will take a look back on his career journey to date, how background affected this journey, and the work done to support other artists through Scottee & Friends ltd.