Intensive London Producing course

First weekend Fri 13th to Mon 16th September 2024 But with split course dates available to assist those with diary challenges

After 4 years of Diploma and Essential courses online to serve the lockdown and international needs, CGO Institute offers its 8th course in person in London in September. Designed for those who aspire to be the entrepreneurs, employers and creators of the future across all sectors of the creative and performing arts, this is a quick introduction to a lifetime of learning.

This course seeks to complement the StageOne West End producing short course, and explore the modules/core skills which a producer could need going forward in a fringe/midscale commercial or not-for-profit patway. These are also the modules which you might undertake in a year-long Masters. It is a cage-rattling, eye-opening and confidence-building intensive four days. We hope you will leave more aware and more determined.  The world needs more producers.

Day 1 / Friday

Arts Ecology and Marketing

We begin exploring the world in which we sit as creative producers with an invitation to research an area of the world, arts, or community you are least familiar with.  From there we move to the tools of marketing and identifying  “who do you want on your front row ?”

Day 3 / Saturday

Budgetting and Diversity

There are two scripts in the artistic process – the playscripts the actors have and the budget the producer has – they have to travel calmly in harmony.  We introduce the elements of budget preparation and invite you to take time over the next week/s to review your budgeting process, create a new budget, or analyse the budget samples provided.  From here we move to equitable and open management, along with tools and challenges for diversity in the workplace and audience development.

Day 3 / Sunday

Fundraising and Investment

There are two sides to every budget. We explore the commercial budget model with investment, and we focus attention on alternative sources of income along with grant support and traditional ways of funding not-for-profit projects.  Fundraising and raising investment should never be begging, it is always finding interested parties who “get” your offer and want to support you in your endeavour or take a calculated risk on the success of your project. We explore the research for targets and the “ask” which makes your vision realisable.

Day 4 / Monday

Leadership and Wellness

In this final day we seek to dispel the perception that the last person to be paid is the producer. We explore how to build teams and how to play to your own strengths.  We consider gatekeepers and programming cycles with venues and festivals, along with building partnerships to enable a project to come to life.  It can be lonely out there and there sometimes comes a time to cut a project – but in the main there are ways through which a strong team and supportive colleagues can help you navigate.

At the end of one day together you are invited to share one project with a small panel of Faculty members for feedback and celebration. We hope you will have made strong bonds with colleagues on the course through the course of the weekend and these will strengthen you going forward.

First Course Dates

Fri Sept 13th to Monday Sept 16th 2024

Fri 11-1pm, 2-5pm  Sat & Sun 10-1pm, 2-5pm  Mon 11-1pm, 2-4pm and 4-7pm

Course Leader – Chris Grady

Chris has led courses in Arts Management at Anglia Ruskin (MA), created and led the Creative Producing MA at Mountview Academy of Theatre and since April 2020 established and led the CGO Institute courses. Before all this he was a producer, project manager, programmer, and marketing/fundraising specialist working with Society of London Theatre, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, Pleasances Theatre (London and Edinburgh), Theatre by the Lake Keswick, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Vivian Ellis Prize for new musicals, Buxton Opera House, Edinburgh International Festival, Traverse Theatre, Plymouth Theatre Royal, Bristol Hippodrome, British Universities Shakespeare Company (Poor Players) and the Frog Company.

CGO Associate – Lew Forman

Lew took the 2nd Diploma in Creative Producing in the midst of lockdown whilst also tunning his own company Counteminers and producing at Edinburgh University. He moved to being a specialist in contracts for NT Live at the National Theatre and from there moved to being one of the producers at Wild Yak Productions working on the international visit of the Mongolian National Theatre to the London Coliseum and the award-winning White Factory at the Marylebone Theatre. He continues with Wild Yak to develop projects for the West End, Broadway and off-West End.

After 4 years of zoom based courses it feels as though there needs to be a change. Zoom has been amazing in offering us a classroom where people can join from all over the world and all over the UK. But for many people, especially those who faced the education nightmare of covid lockdown or the cancellation of so much of an early on the ground career, there is zoom exhaustion. At this time Lew and I feel there is a thirst for in person training opportunities and London is an easy (albeit predictable) focus point.  By refashioning the 5-week Essential course and focussing it on a long weekend we hope it will be easier for people to take dedicated time away from work and life to be with us in person.”

Cost and Support

We are matching this first course at the StageOne day rate at £600 and we have some limited travel/accom bursary support through the Production Exchange charitable hardship fund.  A maximum of 12 people will be booked onto the course to enable personal attention to all who take part.  The course fee includes access to an extensive Resources directory exploring many aspects of producing and cultural positioning.

Personal Mentoring

Running up to the course and immediately afterwards Chris and his Associates will seek to give some guidance, challenge and mentorship to attendees. You will be joining an alumnae group of creative producers and self-producing artists who have taken one of the array of courses offered by the CGO Institute. It is for you to reach out to make connections with like-minded practitioners.

How to Apply

  1. To register interest email chris [at] chrisgrady [dot] org so we can track your application. Please indicate if you need us to accommodate you on one of the Secondary/Split options B]-E].
  2. Next, prepare a cv and cover letter.  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).   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 then award places for the course on a steady basis. Early applicants are welcomed so we build a cohort of aspiring producers over the coming weeks.

Timetable Options

The course is modular and, whilst it is designed to flow in the chronological timeline of Friday to Monday, it can be accessed in three other ways across two weekends.  We encourage the majority of attendees to take the Primary journey below, we are happy to accommodate those who need/wish to spread the course.

A] Primary Journey Offer / One Long Weekend Intensive

Friday13/09/2024Arts EcologyMarketing
Monday16/09/2024LeadershipWellness & Share

When the first weekend is populated we will open up the Split weekends and the Second weekend options where the course modules will be undertaken in a different order.

B] Second Weekend

To accommodate those who cannot free up time for the first weekend

Saturday21/09/2024LeadershipWellness & Share
Sunday22/09/2024Arts EcologyMarketing

C] Split Weekend / Alternative One

To accommodate those only available Fri & Sat, and wish to have space between modules.

Friday13/09/2024Arts EcologyMarketing
Saturday21/09/2024LeadershipWellness & Share

D] Alternative Two

To accommodate those only available Sun & Mon

Monday16/09/2024LeadershipWellness & Share
Sunday22/09/2024Arts EcologyMarketing

E] Alternative Three / Weekend only

To accommodate those with traditional work patterns only available Sat & Sun

Saturday21/09/2024LeadershipWellness & Share
Sunday22/09/2024Arts EcologyMarketing

Please make it very clear in your application letter your first choice of dates, and other options you could manage in order to secure a place.  Thank you.   We welcome your interest in this Essential Creative Producing London Intensive