I first heard from Ellie in Feb 2015, and later had the pleasure of working with her as we unfolded the first Masters course for theatre producers at Mountview. 5 years on she is teaching on that course, an Associate of CGO and a Faculty member leading elements of the our Diploma for Creative Producers. She is also a phenomenal example of a portfolio producer, a creative producer, and a collaborator. Someone I have come to trust to guide me and connect me across the UK theatre producing and touring world.
What inspires you to be a creative producer (and/or keeps you going) ?
The potential to affect change. A really good piece of work can cause an audience member to rethink a social issue or their standpoint on something and can affect change. It can sometimes only take one audience member to do that, and seeing it happen is pretty spectacular.
Is there a style of art/theatre you particularly want to create/produce ?
The artists I work with focus on documentary theatre, so making work using a source material focusing on an actual event. The work tends to be political or exploring a social issue with the aim of affecting some sort of change. For example, I produced a show called Trojan Horse about a scandal in schools in 2014 that was created using the actual words of those involved. The show is accompanied by engagement packages with schools and a live Urdu audio translation, and when all of this is over we will be taking the show to Parliament.
Are you someone who works on one or multiple projects – tell us a little about your style of work ?
I consider myself to be a company producer, so rather than working on individual projects with a variety of artists I tend to work with a couple of companies. I produce their work, run the companies and lead on the organisational development. I currently work for Breach, LUNG and Barrel Organ.
What are you working on now (which you can tell us about) ?
I’m currently doing a lot of organisational development with Breach and LUNG. Both companies are in the process of / have just become charities and we are working towards accessing more core funding and developing new work. I’m also doing a lot of tour rescheduling after COVID-19 caused a few cancellations.
How do you ensure your own personal wellness (especially at this time in the world) ?
Spending time with friends not talking about theatre keeps me sane, and also not putting pressure on myself to work a set amount of hours in the day. I prefer to think about tasks, and try to tick those off as opposed to locking myself to a desk for 10 hours a day.
Any superstitions or special phrases you hold close to you ?
Producer’s get s**t done. A phrase we coined at Mountview actually, when being taught by Chris. It’s a simple one, but it’s very true.