A regular group for anyone making participatory, amateur, or community theatre to connect and share ideas

Led by Kelly Donaldson and co-hosted by the Little Theatre Guild, Creative Network: Theatre offers regular discussions on topics important to theatre-makers. Share ideas and best practice, get advice on any challenges your theatre or group is facing, and make new connections. Sessions are held online via Zoom, roughly three times a year. 

Previous sessions have included discussions on music licensing, developing relationships with local radio stations, and becoming theatres of sanctuary. We've welcomed guest speakers from both amateur and professional theatre organisations, including NODA, the National Association of Youth Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Find upcoming sessions listed on our Creative Network page or on Eventbrite.

A pattern of navy blue and white triangles with the Creative Network from Creative Lives logo, text reading Theatre, and a graphic of the drama/comedy theatre masks


Date Theme Further information
March 2024 Working with an intimacy director

Playing an increasingly important role in theatre, film and television, intimacy directors can ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable rehearsing and performing scenes of an intimate nature.

At this session, we shared a useful overview from intimacy director Elodie Foray, and then spoke to Sarah Lawrence about her experience of working with an intimacy director on a production for the Kelvin Players. Watch a recording of our discussion about working with an intimacy director.
November 2023 Recruiting and retaining volunteers

What's the best way to recruit new volunteers to help out with a variety of roles in your theatre? And, once you've got them, how do you ensure your volunteers feel appreciated, suitably rewarded and keen to return?

Watch these Top Tips from Aled Wyn Thomas (Volunteers Manager at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff) and read the ideas and suggestions suggested by attendees during the breakout sessions.
January 2023 Licensing music for use in theatre productions and buildings

Are you uncertain how to license music in your theatre?

What do the different fees cover - live, recorded, or downloaded music, in plays or in the foyer?

Share and answer all your music licensing questions with guest speaker Robert Williams (Marketing and Publishing Executive, NODA).

October 2022 How well do you know your local and community radio stations?

Would you like to increase the visibility of your theatre company by working more closely with your local radio station?

With guest speakers Rachel Teate (Creative Lives On Air Producer, BBC Radio Tees), Jay Cundell Walker (Artistic Director, Ilkley Playhouse), and Christine Moran (Progress Theatre). 

March 2022 Intergenerational integration in amateur theatre

How do youth and core theatre activities support each other and enhance the whole community?

What are some successful models we could look to for inspiration, and what are the potential challenges?

With guest speaker Steph Meskell-Brocken (Chair of National Association of Youth Theatre).

December 2021 Celebrating cultural diversity

Opening our doors is just the start - how can greater diversity and inclusion extend our theatres and productions?

With guest speakers Anne-Marie Greene (Artistic Director, Criterion Theatre), Howard Shepherdson (The Questors, Ealing), and Tajinder Sindra (Punjabi Theatre Academy).

June 2021 Performing Shakespeare during lockdown

How can theatre groups adapt the canon to engage performers, production teams and audiences?

How can we co-create inclusive and accessible productions that are both historical and forward-thinking?

A conversation with Avant Cymru as they prepare to stage and livestream Henry V from the AFC Porth pitch.

March 2021 Digital practice and international partnerships

Guest speaker Laura Jury (South Devon Players) shares how their theatre company have professionalised during lockdown, developing international partnerships through digital practice.

November 2020 Theatres of Sanctuary

How can we provide welcoming theatre experiences for refugees and those seeking sanctuary?

What tools and resources are being developed, and how can we implement them?

With guest speakers Sam Slatcher (Sanctuary Voice Coordinator), Rosie Macpherson (Artistic Director, SBC Theatre), and Seb Aguirre (Ice & Fire).

October 2020 Connecting outside of our venues

How are non-professional theatre groups continuing to connect members during lockdown, away from venue-based activity?

With guest speakers Sara Harrison (Engagement and Audiences/Theatre, Arts Council England) and Tony Childs (The People's Theatre).

September 2020 Adapting interactive theatre 

Guest speakers Malaika Cunningham and Linda Bloomfield (The Bare Project) share their experience of adapting their interactive theatre show for remote engagement while retaining its central themes.  

August 2020 Developing effective digital and outdoor practice

Sarah Thornton (Artistic Director, Collective Encounters) shares their learning about delivering participatory theatre during social distancing, and Mark Tillotson (Markmark Productions) discusses producing socially distanced street theatre.

July 2020 Adapting during lockdown

How have professional and amateur theatre networks adapted their support and practices during the initial phases of lockdown?

With guest speakers Steph Meskell-Brocken (Chair, National Association of Youth Theatre), Dale Freeman (CEO, National Operatic and Dramatic Association), and Ian Wainwright (Producer, Royal Shakespeare Company). 

    Other theatre networks

      You can also find useful umbrella bodies on our listings page.