Amy Clare Tasker, 13 January 2016

This is an action session following on from my report earlier this weekend, Alternative

Structures in the Real World (do I really have to start a theatre company?) in which I

was looking for the lightest, most nimble legal structure available that would allow me

to make my work and pay my collaborators.

The report from that session is here: been convinced that it is worth setting up a Limited Company for the purpose

of separating the company's activities from my financial responsibility as an individual,

the next question is: what do I want my theatre company to be?

For a start, I don't want it to be a “theatre company” in the traditional sense. I don't

want to brand this as an artistic entity separate from myself as an artist. (though of

course, the point is that it's a legal entity separate from myself as an individual)

Thank you to Laura, Adrian, Tom, and Claire for stopping by my session and sharing

your advice, experiences, warnings, and practical recommendations.

We talked about sustainability and trusting your collaborators. Its impossible and

foolish to try to do everything yourself. Bring on collaborators and trust them to

perform their roles.

Coproductions with other companies can increase the scale of your work, and/or

reduce the financial commitment for each company.

Some self-producing artists live and work in their studio (sometimes illegally).

Be specific when hiring a producer - the job is so variable depending on the project

and what the company needs. Make a list of the things you're not good at/hate doing

and hire someone to help with those things. Don't just say “I need a producer” as if

someone is going to magically appear and know exactly what you need in the context

of your project.

A Limited Company is the least financially risky structure (more research needed). You

will need at least two directors (one can be you), a memorandum/governing

documents, and you will need to register with Companies House.

Once registered, you will need to submit the company's accounts annually. Stay on

top of this - the late fees range from £100 to


Don't forget insurance (public liability insurance). WrightSure was recommended as an

insurance company good for performance cover. If you're doing more than one show a

year, annual insurance might be more economical than project insurance.

Festivals are a great place to start - rather than renting a venue for a full run of a show

- because they will tell you what you need, and when.

Other sources of information:

Independent Theatre Council (ITC) workshops and guides

LinkedIn Producers group

UK Theatre Producers facebook group

Producers Pool events in London

Northern Producers Forum (see guide: Routes In)

So what's next? I am going to set up a legal entity through which I can produce my

work, no matter if it is two or three radically different projects over the next few years.

Like Young Jean Lee Theatre Company, Bryony Kimmings Ltd, and Pina Bausch

Dance Theatre - the company is going to be a vehicle for my work.

But I don't want it to be all about me - I never want to sheepishly say, “well, the

company is basically me.” (That seems like a trick to make people think I'm a bigger

deal than I really am.) It's about a vision and a mission, it's about a collaborative

method, and it's about exploring and experimenting with other artists on the projects

we're already working on, while allowing that collective of artists to change for each

project. It's not a “theatre company.”

It's still early stages, but I think it might be called Amy Clare Tasker Performance Lab

(Ltd). Which would mean I can keep my name, my email, my website, and my Twitter

handle - and not have to start from scratch to introduce my work under a new

company name.

PHEW! Thanks again to everyone who shared their wisdom, and to Improbable for

opening the space for all this thinking to happen.



theatre company, producer, funding, Funding, independent theatre maker, legal,

Theatre Company, Producer, ITC, financial risk