Welcome to the first in a series of conversations with members of the CGO Institute faculty. To start with it is a pleasure to meet with Soha Khan who is based in Saudi Arabia, working with the National Theatre of Saudi Arabia and other organisations developing work and training programmes for Arab speaking creatives. She trained at the Royal Central School in London and has worked with Chris on short course training in Saudi Arabia with UK and International trainers.
What inspires you to be a creative producer?
I believe my inspiration comes from my entrepreneurial spirit to lead on projects and make things happen. My passion drives me, I like creating and exploring innovative ways to bring stories to life and for audiences to enjoy. Being a producer creates the right balance of being able to work with creatives while also handling the business side of things such as raising investment and funds, and building networks with other businesses and investors.
Is there a style of art/theatre you particularly want to create/produce?
I have done straight plays, musical, and immersive theatre. I tend to gravitate towards the immersive genre, I am keen on the idea of working with new spaces, creating new worlds, and audience participation.
Tell us a little about your style of working as a producer and What are you working on now ?
I work on multiple projects and take on slightly different roles for each project. I offer consultancy services, other times I am handling specific area of a production and depending on the scope I hire freelancers and delegate work, I also take on the role of a Creative Director where I develop content for an event. I am working on developing few producing workshops in Arabic, and also consulting on production plans for an A class Saudi Opera.
How do you ensure your own personal wellness (especially at this time in the world)?
Its ups and downs, some days better than others. Mediation, workout plan and positive affirmations helps a lot, its important to have a routine. Besides working from home, practice at least one hobby or learn a new skill.
As an international practitioner, what might we not know about working in Saudi Arabia?
This year Saudi Arabia formed a Performing Arts authority and the National Theatre Initiative , with the aim to subsidize the arts, this will create many opportunities in the Kingdom. Creating work in Saudi was extremely challenging in the past, hopefully things are changing now. This year, I produced my first Saudi murder mystery immersive dinner as an independent producer and company. If I wanted to produce shows in the past I had to be working for a government entity such as a cultural centre who dictate what shows they want to produce.
Within the Diploma programme/ idea what are you most looking forward to helping/experiencing?
I am looking forward to working with students from all over the world, and help them on their journey towards achieving their vision. I wish I had access to mentors and online courses when I first started, it was a lot of trail and error.
Are there any inspiring/useful books or texts we should know about ?
Yes my two go to books for practical guide on producing are So you want to be a Producer? by James Seabright, and How to Produce a West End Show by Julius Green, even though they are heavily focused on producing in the UK and the West End, they can be good references as benchmarks for how things work in an established theatre industry.
Thank you Soha for introducing yourself to us. Published 2nd May 2020