Our Industry

Zoonation ‘Some Like it Hip-Hop’ Image credit: Dave Morgan

We are a community of peers spread across the UK working in drama, dance, opera and musical theatre, mime and physical theatre, circus, puppetry, street arts and mixed media. Check out ITC’s latest events, campaigns, blog and upload your events by logging in and selecting ‘My Membership’.


ITC Events

Online Member’s Meeting: The State of Touring
11:30 – 12:45
ITC Online Members’ Meeting   Peer learning is at the heart of ITC and we were delighted to continue our online member meetings, even when being in person is possible; as we appreciate this makes short sessions accessible to our members across the country.   On Wednesday 21st June (11:30 – 12:45) we will be discussing how ITC companies and producers are managing touring. This will be an opportunity to hear from other members about current challenges and share opportunities and ideas together. When Monday 23rd January 11:30 – 12:45, online via Zoom. The link will be emailed out on the morning of the forum.   How to book This is a free event, however, booking is essential. We encourage you to circulate with your members of staff.

Online Member’s Meeting: The State of Touring


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Members’ Events

The Blue Apple Animal Farm
Blue Apple Theatre

The Blue Apple Animal Farm

  • Wed, 12 Jul 2023 at 7:30 pm at Theatre Royal Winchester
  • Thu, 13 Jul 2023 at 7:30 pm at Theatre Royal Winchester
  • Fri, 14 Jul 20239:30 pm at Theatre Royal Winchester 
  • Fri, 14 Jul 20239:30 pm livestreamed from Theatre Royal Winchester 

Faithful to the spirit of Orwell but with a special Blue Apple twist, this is not a show to stroke your chin to but to laugh out loud at.

Richard Conlon, Blue Apple’s Artistic Director explains what Blue Apple is bringing to this production of Animal Farm.

Blue Apple likes to engage with some of the bigger themes – we do light-hearted entertainment in midwinter shows but we also do meaty stuff in the summer.  We take traditional stories and we try to be true to the heart of them but we pull them apart a bit and put them back slightly differently.

In Blue Apple’s Animal Farm the classic story remains the same with Napoleon as the main character – he’s a pig who takes over the farm with all the other animals – who then decides he’s above those other animals. He is the symbol for the tyrants that we see in some parts of the world, across history and in the present day.  Then there is Boxer the horse who believes in the revolution more wholeheartedly than anyone else. When he – spoiler alert – is not in the story anymore, the other animals start to question what they’ve been working so hard for on small food rations just to return to the same position as they were in previously.  It’s about who is in charge of your life, my life, everybody’s life, and what our civic responsibilities are to each other – but it is slightly taken from a different perspective so there’s more wit, there’s a bit more humour and charm and warmth in what might otherwise be quite a dark tale.  For example, we’ve put a George Michael joke into it and we’ve given the story a slightly different ending.

In our version of Animal Farm, what we’ve done is to bring the author George Orwell in as a character reflecting on why the story finishes differently from his book. Orwell’s take on it was quite downbeat. But we introduce a little boost of positivity in the end.”

The Blue Apple Animal Farm by Blue Apple Theatre

Campaigns & Partnerships

ITC Membership Covid-19 Impact Report

Introduction & Aims of the Survey

The Chancellor’s announcement of £1.57 billion to tackle the crisis facing the arts is welcome both in its recognition of the importance of this industry and its potential to help a recovery. However, we want to ensure that the independent theatre sector is considered in these decisions, both the challenges facing the sector as well as the important creative contribution. The independent sector has the potential to start making work soon and are able to reach communities throughout the country. This survey aimed to explore that potential and assess what support would be needed to enable it.

Survey Report

The report of the survey can be viewed here

Statement from ITC CEO Charlotte Jones

Thank you to the ITC members from throughout the UK and across the broad diversity of our membership who have responded to this survey. It has given us an illuminating snapshot of the sector at this extraordinary time and provided us with vital intelligence to inform our advocacy and strengthen our practical support for the sector. We have chosen to make the many of the detailed responses available in this summary report because our members have so powerfully articulated their position and statistics don’t always convey the picture so strongly.

Some of the standout statistics for us are that only 34% of respondents received emergency funding. Over half of the workers in this sector are currently furloughed and 42% of organisations expect to be making job cuts when that scheme comes to an end this Autumn.

Interestingly over half of respondents have continued to make and disseminate work either digitally or outdoors. 79% of respondents have increased their reach by this means. Most however have been providing this work for free and it is obviously not sustainable long term.

Touring is the life-blood of this sector. It has been described by many as an already broken infrastructure and there are serious concerns about how it will revive in the future. Shared risk-taking by venues will be vital to its revival.

This sector has suffered from a steep decline in core-funding for many years and a continuing reduction in project funds available. It has worked hard to generate more earned income over the past years and obviously the pandemic has brought this to a sharp standstill. This sector has the potential to revitalise its communities, is already doing important work and will require significant support to mitigate the losses it has suffered. That support will go a long way though if targeted strategically at theatre makers and artists.
The independent sector offers energy, imagination, value for money and hope for the future if properly recognised and supported. We would strongly welcome further responses to this survey. I hope you find it interesting reading.

Charlotte Jones, ITC CEO

Statement from The Chair of the ITC Board, Ali King

“Thanks to all the ITC members that were able to fill out the survey, it has shown a very interesting snapshot of the problems our sector face as a result of COVID. It clearly shows what support and help we need.

I am constantly impressed by the ongoing resilience and inventiveness of our sector and the care and consideration we show to one another.

This survey will be really useful for the team at ITC to disseminate and use to help the sector. To target areas for improvement and carry on co-ordinating a voice supporting the sectors needs and concerns. I know it has been awhile since we have all been able to come together but ITC remains as always here to help, advise and listen to its members”

Ali King, Chair of ITC

Artistic Directors Leadership Programme

Artistic Directors Leadership Programme

“Who is curating the culture? Predominantly it is white, middle-class men.” David Oyelowo  

How many people of colour are running publicly funded theatre organisations in England?  Not many.  It’s time for a change.  

tiata fahodzi have brought together companies whose collective missions represent a rich, multicultural and modern Britain – Freedom Studios, Talawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High – to stage an intervention and lead the change.  

Supported by the Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre programme, Artistic Director Leadership Programme is a unique training opportunity for future theatre leaders. The programme comprises two initiatives: 

  • Trainee Artistic Director  
  • Leaders of Tomorrow 

Trainee Artistic Director programme provides four paid, two year, full-time traineeships for experienced theatre directors. Trainees are resident at one of the partner theatres, working closely with the artistic director of their host organisation.  Participants will gain an exceptional opportunity to take part in and contribute to the daily life of running a theatre company.   

Leaders of Tomorrow is both a bespoke leadership development programme and a collective of theatre practitioners of colour.  Not just for directors, this opportunity is for anyone who wants to lead a theatre company or building; this could be theatre makers, writers, producers, actors, administrators, designers, dramaturgical or literary practitioners or movement directors. Leaders of Tomorrow includes a wide range of free training opportunities that will take place in two hubs based in Manchester and Watford.  

Natalie Ibu, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of tiata fahodzi said, “we believe that the future of theatre leadership should look and feel different, that is why, with our partners, we delighted to announce the launch of this ground-breaking programme.” 

ITC are proud to be running the training sessions for this important initiative, spearheaded by four of our members tiata fahodziFreedom StudiosTalawa Theatre Company and 20 Stories High and supported by Regional Theatres Young Directors Scheme.

For further information and to apply for Artistic Director Leadership Programme go to www.adleadership.co.uk 

What Next

ITC is actively involved in What Next? – a movement bringing together arts and cultural organisations from across the UK to articulate and strengthen the role of culture in our society. We want to engage the public in new and different conversations about how and why the arts are important, and become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new policy ideas.

A growing number of locally based What Next? groups are forming across the UK. Click here to find out more

Culture Declares Emergency

We, The Independent Theatre Council declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency
We pledge to work with and support our community and local government in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:

1. We will tell the Truth
Governments, and their public broadcasters and cultural agencies, must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change.
We will communicate with citizens and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.

2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero* by 2025.
We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where we interact with them, that do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels.
We will actively work to imagine and model ways that my practice / our organisation can regenerate the planet’s resources.

3. We are committed to Justice
The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Arts and Culture can imagine and forge shifts in the ways we relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours.
We will do what is possible to enable dialogue and expression amidst our communities about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed.
We will support demands for more democracy within our civic institutions and government.
We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice based on intersectional principles*, led by and for marginalised people.

Culture declares emergency toolkit

Family Arts Campaign

The Family Arts Campaign is a large scale, national collaborative programme led by ITC and a number of other partner organisations. It provides training, resources and marketing opportunities for the performing and visual arts sectors, in order to increase levels of arts engagement by families.

During its first three years the Campaign has provided training to over 1,000 arts professionals, reached over 1 million families through its annual Family Arts Festival, and enabled 350 arts organisations to highlight their commitment to families through its Family Arts Standards quality mark.

To see how the campaign can help you visit familyarts.co.uk

Blog and News

Guest Blog: Thoughts on Leadership

By Ria Parry As I move into my 5th year as Co-Director of The North Wall Arts Centre, and my 1st as Vice-Chair of ITC, I observe the shifts in leadership amongst my peers, and across the UK – and I find myself increasingly thoughtful about what it means, and what it takes, to lead […]

To access this post, you must first become a member.

Changes to the Minimum Rates of Pay for 2023-24

We’re proud to announce that after a productive consultation with members through the Autumn and a constructive and collaborative negotiation with Equity in December, Equity members have just voted to accept ITC and Equity’s recommendations for improvements on the minimum terms of the ITC/Equity Agreements. ITC members have consistently articulated their strong belief in putting […]

Rates of Pay Guidance

What should we pay? From time to time we are asked about rates of pay that are not covered by our union agreements. Whilst we cannot set rates for members to pay we can offer practical guidance on what might be appropriate in non-standard circumstances. Some basic rules include: Daily rates Where there is a […]

ITC  Conference:  “Who Cares?” 

Monday 21st November 2022, The Albany, Deptford  Start 11am, networking lunch (provided) 1pm, drinks in partnership with Equity 5:30pm We’ll be starting the day with a set of provocations impacting our sector and join together in interactive peer-learning breakouts to address these issues and problem-solve. SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED! Morning: Provocations include Josette Bushell- Mingo, Principal of Royal […]

Live and Looking Forward

Since May this year, ITC has been getting back to programming live events and training. After a slow start, we finally ran a sold out Tour Booking course with Mark Makin this week on the hottest day of the year. The enthusiasm of participants and the joy of being back in a room with members […]

Guest Blog: We Made Ourselves A Promise And Now Is The Time To Keep It

By Gareth Nicholls (ITC Chair) He sits among the cabbages and peas… I stepped into the role of ITC Chair two months ago and for our first CEO & Chair catch-up, Charlotte invited me to her allotment in South East London. It was an unusual but fitting office for the day: sitting among rows of […]

Guest Blog: My Time as Chair by Alison King

This week at the ITC AGM, I will step down from the board, having served for seven years and nearly five of them as Chair. When I joined the board in 2015, Turtle Key Arts had been a member of ITC for many years, and we thought it would be good to give something back […]

David Edgar: New Play Commission Scheme

Present tense plays ITC, UK Theatre and the Writers’ Guild launch scheme to help companies commission 15 new plays by David Edgar             Theatre has been hit harder by the pandemic than any other of the performing arts – the first to be closed down, the last to reopen and still suffering. One particular casualty is […]

Guest Blog: Daniel Pitt

Old Diorama Arts Centre has recently joined ITC as a ‘hub’ member, and we’re looking forward to enabling our creative community to access ITC’s support through it. In recent years we’ve been mostly known as a space for hire, but we’re beginning a journey to make our relationships with the creative sector and community that […]

Think Piece: Gathering Place 2.0 – a vision of a dirty disabled future

Lately, I’ve not been sleeping well.  Every night at around 4.44am I am being visited by the leering ghoul of Mark Zuckerberg welding the Arts Council’s “Let’s Create” strategy.  It’s deeply unpleasant.  I wish Mark would do one.  But he’s being very insistent.  It’s almost as if he was trying to break into reality. In […]

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