Essential Creative Producing – Short Course

In answer to a perceived demand from the aspiring and inspiring producing sector, we have introduced a five week intensive course running Tuesdays all day/eve and Wednesday afternoon. The first ran in November 2023, then Feb 2024, and we are now interviewing for our third course in June 2024. A zoom classroom of 8 is planned joining from around the world, with a focus on UK producing of theatre and the performing arts. We will flex the content to best serve this small classroom, learning from each other and the guest Faculty as we go.

The CGO Intensive Creative Producers course is a superb opportunity for anyone starting out or transitioning into creative producing.  It was recommended to me by previous students and it has not disappointed in any way.  Chris’ incredible depth of experience means the content is relevant, focussed and up to date, and he shares this with generosity and a clear understanding of the best ways to support learning.  In addition, Chris invites a wide range of well positioned practitioners to support his delivery and to add another informed layer of expertise to the topics.  The course moves quickly through the topics, with a plethora of resources and wider reading to allow everyone to explore the areas that are relevant to their aspirations and ambitions, and develop their practice.  It is clear why I encounter so many practicing professionals that have come through Chris’ training and I cannot recommend this course highly enough. ” Tracey-Anne Cutbush / Kook Ensemble Creative Producer (Nov 2023)

BACKGROUND: Launched in April 2020 in lockdown, the CGO Institute has delivered four 16-week zoom based Diplomas in Creative Producing. 32 aspiring producers have taken the course, from the USA, Netherlands, France, Italy, Malaysia, Estonia, Scotland, England, Australia, Sweden and Poland.  A faculty of 25 international practitioners have supported us delivering this programme.

CGO is there to serve the needs of new talent who can change the way we work, telling the stories that serve the broadest population of the UK and beyond. Producers are the entrepreneurs, employers, and inspirers of the future.  The UK (and the wider world) need more producers to create, curate and facilitate change.

At the same time there are small companies and solo artists who are seeking to understand the tools of producing in order that they can make their own work & manage the process themselves. Off-Broadway they are called SPAs – Self Producing Artists.

“I have decided to retire the 16-week DipCP for the moment to enable me to focus, with a small Faculty, on short courses which will equip SPAs and aspiring producers of other people’s work with the basic ‘tools not rules’ of producing. At the request of some US based artist/producers we will schedule the courses so that our timings can work for them.  I will gather a small zoom room of participants and we will explore theatre producing and curating in the UK.  Producers can make this part of a wider programme of learning & reading. It is designed to be a quick look at what we had been exploring in the longer DipCP.  I welcome enquiries for these first two short courses.”  Chris Grady


Course Dates & Times:

June 4th to July 2nd 2024. The main sessions are Tuesdays Planned schedule (UK) 10-11.30/quiet time/12-1.30pm/long break/2.30-4pm. We have added extra masterclass/debate sessions on Wednesdays 3pm-6pm UK time.  [If we receive a range of applicants from the USA we may shift the Tues times to run 2-8pm UK.]

Course Content

Day 1 / UK Arts Ecology – understanding the landscape, producing, presenting, commercial and non-profit, fringe, touring, and the challenges.

Day 2 / Marketing – understanding “narrowcast” marketing for the arts and the tools we need to understand and use (or pay others to use wisely on our behalf)

Day 3 / Budgetting – focus on small/mid scale work in the independent sector for new theatre work, exploring union rates, rights, and deals.

Day 4 / Fundraising and/or Investment – non-box office income generation, grant awards, and thinking SMART to achieve a balanced/profit centered budget.

Day 5 / Leadership and Wellness – touching on group/team creation, your own personality/leadership styles, diversifying your team and the industry as a whole, flexing your own style in presentations, and tools to use.


Reading Lists, example materials and articles will be shared. Individual personal/project tutorials will be available. Connections will be offered to help participants connect with key people in their artistic field.

The most successful cohort for each Short Course will be one which finds common & new interests and connections between them. They will each dedicate at least another day a week to reading, researching, and building their awareness and understanding. They will review the recordings of classes and undertake small self-managed tasks to embed the knowledge shared. They will respect difference in the zoom room, be generous & kind to each other, and be inspired by each person’s passions and projects. They will each offer peer-to-peer support over the month and later into the future. They will celebrate the need for change and their potential to make changes going forward. They will ‘Start with an End in Mind’ – coming to the short course with a plan in their hearts (which may change) and a personal ambition to make a difference going forward.”   Chris


Course fee £750 June.  Expected class size 8 people.  A deposit of £200 will secure the place with the balance paid by the first day of the course.  This is personal development learning/training. Support grants may be available from funding bodies. For the DipCP participants have been successful in unlocking funding from home government funding and from Arts Council England DYCP Grants.

” The EssCP course has been incredibly helpful and expertly delivered in an organised and sensible manner. Each week was different and the examples and productions used were up to date and applicable. Concepts were explained clearly and examples from within the UK as well as in the world were used. Each participant was given a chance to grow and explore their own path, all while getting individual feedback and mentorship from Chris and other staff. The atmosphere created in the ‘room’ was one of encouragement, kindness and connection, which was perfect for opening up and discussing passions and projects. The plethora of materials and resources available leaves the participant with plenty to do and think about once the course is over. “ Ewa Grzybowska Creative Producing working with Irish/Polish stories. (Nov 2023 / CGO Institute cohort 5)


  1. To register interest email chris [at] chrisgrady [dot] org so we can track your application.
  2. Next prepare a cv and cover letter.
    1. The cv should cover the theatre/producing work you have undertaken (college, community, school, amateur is fine) and other training/ employment outwith theatre which may inform your future practice (eg ‘the day job’ or your college courses). 
    1. The cover letter should be no more than two pages and reflect on why this course, at this time, would be especially beneficial to you on your creative/producing journey.
  3. We will select a shortlist of applicants for a zoom interview/discussion – remembering that this is a chance for you to interview us too.
  4. We will ask chosen candidates, after this interview, to write/record a short (2000 words / 8 mins max) reflection on one of 5 topic areas we will give you. This will allow us to understand your thinking as a producer/creative and help us shape the cohort into a group who will complement each other.

“This course exceeded my expectations. The pace was intense, but so was the learning. Chris manages the online classroom and time exceptionally well, and brings forth the right content for understanding the UK theatre environment and producer roles. As someone who is already familiar with US producing, this course is an excellent addition to my producer toolkit helping me see the similarities and differences and will undoubtedly serve me well as an international producer. Highly recommended.” Randall Huskinson Playwright & Producer in SanDiego (Nov2023 /CGO Institute cohort 5)

There is no deadline for this process.  

As of now, we welcome your application.

Chris Grady

chris [at] chrisgrady [dot] org

22nd Feb 2024 / Edinburgh