Creative Lives online network with the thematic focus of ‘Theatre’. Part of the wider #CreativeNetwork programme.

Open #CreativeNetwork conversations held on Zoom to share practices and responses to changing pandemic guidance* and restrictions for amateur and professional performing arts groups.  

Our latest sessions are co-hosted by the Little Theatre Guild:

9 June 2021 - Performing Shakespeare during lockdown

A conversation with Avant Cymru, about how groups can adapt the canon to engage performers, production teams and audiences - co-creating inclusive and accessible productions that are both historical and forward-thinking. Avant Cymru prepare to stage their performance of Henry V live (and live-streamed) from the AFC Porth pitch.


Between these Zoom sessions, you're welcome to join our Facebook group and attend other Creative Network sessions to keep sharing news, ideas and resources. To suggest a theme or for other comments and questions, please contact claire [at] creative-lives.org

Previous sessions on

11 March 2021: Bringing together winners and nominees of the annual EPIC Awards, which celebrates creative groups' contributions. South Devon Players, founder Laura Jury, 2017 winner, shared their digital practice and international partnerships during lock-down. 


11 November 2020: 
Theatre of Sanctuary network, sharing their experience of providing welcoming theatre experiences for refugees and those seeking sanctuary, with:

  • Sam Slatcher, Sanctuary Voice Coordinator
  • Rosie Macpherson, Artistic Director, SBC Theatre, discussing creative outcomes, tools and resources being developed
  • Seb Aguirre, Ice & Fire, discussing the stories they share and recent work.

14 October 2020: Sara Harrison (Engagement and Audiences / Theatre, Arts Council England) and Tony Childs, The People's Theatre discussing how non-professional theatre is continuing to connect members away from venue-based activity.

Wednesday 9 September: 
Malaika Cunningham and Linda Bloomfield of The Bare Project shared their experience of adapting their interactive theatre show for remote engagement. Preparing for the first national tour of The People’s Palace of Possibility when the pandemic hit, the creative team have blended forms to recreate the piece, while retaining its central themes, visible in the Palace Archive. Malaika has written for CUSP about the project.


12 August 2020:
 Developing effective digital and outdoor practice, led by:


8 July 2020: How professional and amateur theatre networks have adapted support and practices during the initial phases of lock-down, with:

  • Steph Meskell-Brocken, Chair, National Association of Youth Theatre (AD, Minerva Theatre) shared news about the networks suspension of membership fees, enabling more people to share in their resources, including online safe-guarding policies, and the regular NYATea, held every Monday to support youth theatre practitioners and sector survey to understand what families need to transition back.
  • Dale Freeman, CEO, National Operatic and Dramatic Association shared some of the regional support, digital reprogramming of conferences, AGMs and training - liaison with rights holders and the NODA insurance that has supported over 200 claims for cancelled performances. 
  • Ian Wainwright, Producer, Royal Shakespeare Company shared how the theatre’s community out- and in- reach has been affected by lockdown, the support for artists while working with 95% team on furlough (and in true lockdown style)  in parallel to overseeing a streamed production of ‘The Day the Crayons Went on Strike’ for Better Start Centres, performed by the actors preparing for RSC’s Spring/Summer production. 


We were joined previously by Charlotte Jones, CEO of the Independent Theatre Network

Links shared by other participants during sessions include:

Theatre Resources

Collective Encounters have been running training events and sharing resources via the Centre for Excellence in Participatory Theatre

Royal Shakespeare Company resources for practitioners

Outdoor Arts UK have resources including risk assessments available

Drama Groups website offers extensive listings of amateur groups operating across UK and internationally and other relevant information 

The Amateur Theatre Policy Briefing produced by the Amateur Drama Research project (funded by AHRC)

Guidance for working equitably with refugees and those seeking sanctuary: Sanctuary in the Arts Resource Pack

Theatre Networks

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

* Guidance from the devolved governments and arts councils of England (ACE), Ireland (ACI) and Northern Ireland (ACNI), Scotland (Creative Scotland) and Wales (CCC/ACW) are also being continually updated.