It is hard to believe that we are just about to begin to welcome applications for the Nov 2023/5th cohort of the Diploma in Creative Producing. 3 years ago this month I began presenting workshops across the Zoom network at National Student Drama Festival and then for Universities and gatherings of aspiring producers. I think I’ve done 50+ workshops now, and the latest is a sell-out this afternoon. Maybe 750 aspiring producers and theatremakers have been with me on these calls exploring marketing, producing, fundraising, the arts ecology, personal development and team leadership. Of those many have gone into the business with their confidence growing (I hope). 32 of them have joined me on the Diploma programme and been taught by an amazing Faculty of practitioners.
Now we open up for the November intake of this 16 week online UK and International programme. I can’t wait to see who will apply. The first Interview dates are set for Fri 26th May and I am updating our CGO website and getting the word out there. One advantage of having the CGO Institute as an independent body is that the course cost to participants can be kept at around ¼ of the other main training MAs. The disadvantage is we don’t have the luxury of a marketing department and massive sales force to spread the word. So you, dear Reader, are a vital part of helping us reach out and offer the opportunity of the DipCP to those who could benefit from it.
It is wonderful now to be bumping into people in lead management positions who did the DipCP. Then I hear from others sharing news of the production companies they are nurturing and running. A few have moved into other professions, but in the main most of the 23 Diplomats (graduates of the course) are knee deep in making a career in the business. The world needs more producers telling more diverse and exciting stories, and employing and working with the widest array of creative theatremakers of the future. My job is to avoid telling too many old stories as someone who has been in the business ‘man and boy’, but rather to facilitate conversation and debate about the future. Collaborations with mentors, tutors, and the core faculty are essential to make this a reality. I thank so so so many people who seem to always say ‘yes’ when I approach them to teach, mentor or support an aspiring producer of the future.
So, favour time. If you know any networks where the entrepreneurs and employers of the future theatre industry may be exploring – please share this information. If you are a producer or theatremaker yourself, then explore whether there are any opportunities for collaboration or whether, maybe, there is someone in your organisation who deserves a leg-up with some zoom learning. We have a class of 9 this time round, which is a great number for wide open debate. We will go up to 12 but never more than that. I want to have real meaningful conversations every day we meet around the core skills of producing. That needs to be done in small zoom gatherings or meetings.
If you want to know more about the course – just ask me, or ask any of the previous participants. Their biogs are all on line, and most have given their email direct contact details. They will happily talk about their experience in full honesty.
But first, next week, DipCP4 return to the classroom for the 2nd term of our course, and I spend some time sharing awareness of the CGO Institute Diploma in Creative Producing through my ongoing programme of workshops.
Thanks for reading and sharing the word and hope you enjoy the image of Tom Burlinson and Reg Livermore in John Frost’s Australian production of The Producers.