Meet the Faculty 10 – Kath Burlinson

What inspires you to be a creative producer (and/or keeps you going) and tell us a little about your work ?

I learned recently from Faculty member and friend Martin Platt that in New York, ‘SPA’ is short for ‘Self-Producing Artist.’ Having always loved a spa, I am very happy now to BE a SPA.

In the past 25 years, while swirling around and jetting here and there I have:

·      co-founded a theatre company producing shows that toured to five countries

·      founded a Collective that has produced its own shows and co-produced several others

·      created a national workshop programme for artists from all disciplinary backgrounds that has run 60+ workshops

·      produced residential workshops in France, England, Wales & Scotland for my mentor

·      created and run an 18-month programme supporting artists to create their own unique workshop offerings

·      co-devised and/or directed numerous shows, from solos to large-scale musicals

·      led a Collective of 200+ artists, offering mentoring, support, guidance and advice as required

Who inspired you and/or who would you love to collaborate with/produce ?

Kiss and Cry – astragales

My specialist areas as a theatre-maker are devised and ensemble work. I’ve been inspired over the years by many companies, from seeing Kantor’s ‘Theatre of Death’ back in the early 1980s, to Complicite’s productions in the 90s, then Kneehigh, Gecko, and most recently Kiss & Cry Collective at the London International Mime Festival. 

A book I can recommend is Anne Bogart’s ‘A Director Prepares.’

What are you working on now (which you can tell us about) ?

I have created two of my own solo shows, ‘The Mother’s Bones’ and ‘InVisible Lines’ and I’m currently also working on the development of the third show in Mairi Campbell’s trilogy, as well as a new NTS-supported project with Anne Wood and Niloo-Far Khan exploring Scottish/Pakistani identity.

Alongside my work in the arts I work for RADA Business, offering personal impact and leadership training. On the CP Diploma I will offer skills I have learnt working in the business world, to help emerging producers communicate with clarity, impact and effectiveness.

How do you ensure your own personal wellness (especially at this time in the world) ?

I sustain my output and energy levels through a range of physical, artistic and spiritual practices, good food and a lot less excess than I indulged in at earlier periods of my life!

Any superstitions or special phrases you hold close to you ?

I love Faculty member Ellie Claughton’s phrase ‘get shit done’ – I have a less scatological but equally terse version: ‘get on with it.’

Life lessondouble check everything. I once had a show whose set consisted of two chairs. It was a two-person show, and my artistic partner and I were the SPAs and did everything. Except, once. We forgot to set the chairs.