Amy Clare Tasker, 9 January 2016

Thanks to all who came to this session to talk about the infrastructure that is needed to

produce work.

I am an independent theatre maker, often self-producer, and have been resisting the

idea of starting up a theatre company for some time. I don't know how it works over

here and I've been dragging my feet on finding out. (I started my career in the U.S.

and one of the things that I really like about the UK landscape is that in theory you can

get funding as an individual artist.)

The other thing I've been struggling with is that I don't want to work in a traditional

company structure. I'm developing two really different pieces at the moment, which

don't seem to me to belong under the same umbrella, and which have two completely

different creative teams. The only thing they have in common is me. How could I

create a company to produce both of those shows? And whatever comes next, which I

think will be totally different again. (If I have a “brand” as an artist, it's that I'm always

experimenting and never do the same sort of thing twice.)

So this is the question that my fellow D&Ders came to help with. I'll share their advice

and questions and resources, in the hope it may help others.

1. The main reason to create a company as a separate legal entity from yourself is to

protect yourself from financial risk. The company is responsible for its bills and

insurance, etc, not you as an individual.

2. As a company, depending on what structure you choose, you can apply for more

and different pots of funding. If you're applying to the Arts Council, you can ask for

amounts over £15,000.

3. The ITC (Independent Theatre Council) runs a one-day course on how to set up a


4. Commercial producers create a company for each show they produce, to spread

out the risk from production to production - and also to separate the accounts of each

production. The paperwork for this camps get tricky, though, and I was advised to set

up just one company to produce all my work.

5. A company needs a board of directors, who in my case might be people from the

creative teams I'm working with right now. I'll need to research more what this means

for them, and what the responsibilities are.

6. The umbrella company that is producing these shows doesn't need to be splashed

in big letters on all our publicity - we don't need to create a new website or identity for

the company unless we want to. I can keep using my personal artist website, and be

“trading as” the company for legal/financial/practical affairs.

7. It was suggested that for some grant applications which require charity status, an

individual artist or small company can partner with an organisation/charity to be

eligible, rather than becoming a charity themselves.

8. Another way to partner with an organisation with a different legal status is to

become a resident company at a venue.

9. I have been looking for a producer to start a company with, but the feeling of the

group was that the company could exist without a producer, and then hire a producer

for each show. Resources for finding a producer: UK Theatre Producers Facebook

group; Young Vic producers network; Producers Pool (Chris Grady).

Thanks again to everyone who dropped in and out of the session! I didn't manage to

collect names, but feel free to add your names in the comments or click the “I was

there” button at the top.

Amy Clare Tasker

[email protected]

Those two really different projects, if you're curious:


financial risk, ITC, Producer, Theatre Company, Charity, legal, independent theatre

maker, Funding, funding, charity, producer, theatre company