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

Annual General Meeting March 2024
11:00 – 12:00
Join us for ITC’s AGM on Thursday, 22 March 2023 11 am -12 pm, online via Zoom.   ITC will be holding its AGM this year online. The event is free and we warmly welcome all ITC members. You just need to book online and you will be sent the zoom link. The AGM is an opportunity for members to review ITC’s activities and discuss future plans. The AGM is also an opportunity to elect new ITC Board members. We have 5 spaces available on the Board this year and 4 current Board members re-standing for their 2nd term. If you would be interested in standing for the ITC board you will need to be nominated by 2 full ITC members and stand for election at the AGM. ITC Board members stand for an initial term of 3 years and can then re-stand for a second 3 year term. Sadly our brilliant Chair Gareth Nichols (Little Earthquake) will be standing down at this AGM having completed 6 years on the ITC Board. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his excellent contribution to the ITC Board and his exceptional support for the Independent Theatre Sector.   Book your free place today.   Download the papers for ITC Annual General Meeting: – AGM Notice and Agenda – Board Nomination Profiles – Minutes from 22 March 2023Annual Report 2022/23 Annual Accounts 2022/23   Board Nomination Profiles At the AGM you will be able to elect new members to the ITC board. All candidates will give a one minute speech live on the day. There are 5 nominees and 5 places available for election. Though this is not a contested vote, we encourage you to read the the Board Nomination Profiles (downloadable above), and we want you to vote. Vote in advance  If you/your organisation are unable to attend the AGM and would still like to vote, please contact us for a voting form. Advance voting deadline: 5pm on Wednesday, 6th March 2024. Voting is only open to Full Members of ITC with one vote per member.

Annual General Meeting March 2024


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Members’ Forum: Theatre Tax Relief
11:00 – 12:00
TTR has been, and will hopefully continue to be, a hugely important income stream for the vast majority of ITC members. Most of you should be able to claim it without spending a fortune on accountants. This forum is an opportunity for ITC members to share their experiences claiming TTR, learn how to if they don’t already, share any issues they have encountered recently and learn about changes coming up. Our Finance Manager, Kevin Dunn will be attending in order to answer any questions and share practical knowledge.   This event will take place on Wednesday 20th March from 11 am – 12 pm on Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to you 24 prior (please check your spam folder). Please get in touch with us to discuss reasonable adjustments as far in advance as possible.   How to book: this is a free event, however, booking is essential. We encourage you to circulate with your members of staff and board.

Members’ Forum: Theatre Tax Relief


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Members’ Forum: Ethical Manager
11:00 – 12:00
ITC Members registered as Ethical Managers (using the ITC Union agreements) or members considering taking this step towards Union recognition are invited to join this free online forum to discuss:  managing your company while on tour (accommodation, travelling, allowances), negotiating variations to the ITC/Equity agreements for particular working practices, managing disputes, dealing with agents and other issues arising out of using the minimum terms agreements.   This event will take place on Thursday 18th April from 11 am – 12 pm on Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to you 24 prior (please check your spam folder). Please get in touch with us to discuss reasonable adjustments as far in advance as possible.   How to book: this is a free event, however, booking is essential. We encourage you to circulate with your members of staff and board.

Members’ Forum: Ethical Manager


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Members’ Forum: Co-Producing
11:00 – 12:00
Many more ITC companies are co-producing either with peers or with larger organizations and venues. ITC has been dealing with a corresponding increase in disputes arising out of co-productions. This forum offers an opportunity for members to share practice and learn from each other about what’s working and what’s not. There is no contractual one-size-fits-all so successful co-productions are all about negotiation, managing expectations and reaching fair and creative solutions.   This event will take place on Monday 20th May from 11 am – 12 pm on Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to you 24 prior (please check your spam folder). Please get in touch with us to discuss reasonable adjustments as far in advance as possible.   How to book: this is a free event, however, booking is essential. We encourage you to circulate with your members of staff and board.

Members’ Forum: Co-Producing


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Learning through Listening 2024
Action Learning intro sessions The first two Action Learning intro sessions will take place in London and in York in 2024 (dates and venues tbc). In order to ensure a suitable date is selected for all participants, we will arrange this after you have signed up for the programme. We will aim to programme future Action-Learning days in different locations throughout the UK to enable ease of access for all members, please contact us with suggestions of locations.   The cost of participation in the project is a one-off registration fee of £150+vat (per person). Open to ITC members only.   Context:  In small arts organisations leadership roles (eg: Artistic Director, Executive Director, CEO, General Manager, Chair) are challenging, exposed and isolated. During and following the pandemic ITC has advised on an increased number of work-based disputes (complaints, grievances, disciplinaries, project and contract breakdowns, company splits and closures). Add to this the stress caused by loss of funding, cost of living increases and a growing recruitment crisis in many crucial roles – it has never been harder to lead and manage a company in this sector. In response to tough times, ITC has devised a pilot project to facilitate leaders within our companies to support and mentor each other. ITC has a uniquely committed and skilled community of leaders within the membership. This project aims to promote connection and sharing between sector leaders using the skills and principles of action learning (peer coaching). Elements of the Project:  Action-Learning is a form of peer coaching that uses the process of active listening, open questions and non-judgemental reflection to create a safe space to solve problems and build strategies. It relies on the principles of respect, confidentiality and not giving advice unless actively requested. Essentially participants solve their own problems with peer support. This project aims to use the processes of group Action-Learning within one-to-one mutual mentoring pairings. Participants will begin with a one-day facilitated Action-Learning group session (live up to 8 participants) – introducing the skills and processes of peer coaching and enabling 3 live problem-solving presentations. Following the initial session participants will receive guidance for one-to-one peer coaching and be paired with a colleague in the sector. ITC will manage the peer matching process and provide ongoing support to participants throughout the project. Participants will agree to meet 3-4 times over the course of a year (live or on Zoom) for one-to-one peer problem-solving sessions (lasting 2-3 hours). At the end of the year, participants will take part in a facilitated evaluation session. It is hoped that peer pairs will continue to meet for peer problem-solving in ongoing relationships and ITC will facilitate swaps and rematches as required.

Learning through Listening 2024


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Members’ Events

Devoted and Disgruntled 19: what are we going to do about theatre and the performing arts?

An invitation from Improbable’s Associate Director, Matilda Leyser;

Devoted and Disgruntled: What are we going to do about Theatre and the Performing Arts?

That’s a genuine question.
And this is a real invitation, to come and work on that question – and any others you are holding – and to explore a myriad of answers, together with us, in Leeds, in March this year, at our annual Open Space event.
We ran our first Devoted and Disgruntled event in 2006- 18 years ago. Since then we have used Open Space to run our company, make our shows, birth some children (true story). But through all the years, we’ve continued to come back to the beginning – to this core annual event – the one we are inviting you to be a part of in 2024.
And it starts now.
Because the beginning of this event – the very first thing that happens – is that we write an invitation.
Writing an invitation is something of art.
Like any art, it’s a kind of practice.
Which is to say, we are still practicing it – still finding out how to do it.
But also, as with any practice you keep at for a while, you start to form habits.
So, over the years, we have tended to use our annual D&D invite to reflect on the current state of the performing arts, of the country, of the world, and then to use that as a sort of motivator to encourage you to come along and do something meaningful, instead of moaning.
The problem with this formula is that the state of the arts/ country/ world keeps on getting worse, so the invites sound increasingly bleak. Or maybe it’s just that we keep on getting older. Or maybe a bit of both. Either way, when we tried to follow the formula this year, it came out like bitter old actor’s version of the queen’s speech (she did 70 of them – we are far behind!). We felt a little desperate. We tried AI, which, to be honest, did a fair job of turning the bitterness around into something more positive.
But because I cannot think of a single, fricking event better than D&D at connecting us back to our ‘HI’ – our deep, natural, human intelligence and creativity (yes, I believe we have this- that’s where theatre comes from) – as opposed to the heart-breaking individual and collective stupidity we witness every day on the news – I want a person, not a software programme, to write the invite: so here I am writing this to you.
The definition of a true invitation is that you can say ‘no’ to it. It invites you to check in with yourself, and what you want, because it comes from someone who is checking in with themselves:
Right now, I am feeling cold, but also naively glad that it can still get this cold. I just reassured my neurodivergent son that we are safe and am wondering if we truly are. I am thinking of the aerial-theatre-storytelling-impro show I want to start to make this year, and how the heck I am going to do it, amidst everything else I am holding. I am thinking of you, reading this, wondering what you are feeling, what you are bothered by, excited by, devoted to, disgruntled about.
I am inviting you to check in with yourself and see what you need right now, whether that’s time out on your own in the rain and wind, or whether that’s time in a circle, connecting with your community. Or whether you don’t have a sense of community and you’d quite like to find one – that was Phelim, 18 years ago, when he wrote the first invite.
And maybe you were at that first 2006 D&D, or you’ve been to some others.
Maybe you meant to get along one year but you haven’t yet quite managed it.
Maybe you have never even heard about us, and you thought ‘D&D’ was a fantasy tabletop game (it is – ask my son if you decide to come to our version of ‘D&D’).
All of the above options are exciting to me. And any of them could mean that you are one of the right people to show up in the room this year. I don’t know – you do.
I also don’t know what’s going to happen once we are in the room, because every year is different, but here’s some things that have happened other years, and which might happen again. You might:
Have an inspiring conversation.
Get a whole lot of work done.
Find a partner – work-related or romantic (both have precedents).
Find a job, or a place to live.
Start a company, or a campaign.
Get support for your project.
Have a laugh. Or a cry.
Sit and daydream for the first time in many months.
Drink a lot of free tea and eat some biscuits.
Have the best idea of your career to date.
Find some hope- a sense of renewal.
So come and join us, and find out what this year holds. Come as you are. Come…..
If you were barley born, back in 2006.
If you are old and bitter.
If you are middle aged and feeling middle-ish about everything.
If you are of the global majority.
If you are queer as they come.
If you have a disability.
If you are neurodivergent.
And if you are white, straight, cis-gendered, and neurotypical – you can come too.
Come along with a project, or a question, or a niggle, or a feeling of fury, grief, despair, or mild curiosity.
Come alone, or bring a friend, colleague, partner, your children. Come if you are lost, lonely, or painfully shy.
What I am trying to say is simply this:
Come if you want to be there.
That’s it.
This is an invitation to you, from me, and the rest of Improbable, to come to Devoted and Disgruntled, in Leeds, March 2024, if something in you, reading this, says ‘yes.

Devoted and Disgruntled 19: what are we going to do about theatre and the performing arts? by Improbable

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

ITC / Equity Agreement

ITC and Equity completed their negotiations last month and Equity members balloted to accept the agreement last week. ITC has made a 3-year agreement with Equity which provides for a 5% increase on all financial terms (salary and allowances) year on year for 3 years starting in April 2024. Hopefully, this will enable easier budgeting […]

ITC Advice Service – A Year of Problem Prevention & Solving

ITC’s advice service has been very well-used over the past year and we have been logging the calls more closely to get a sense of what is happening in the sector. Obviously, our service is completely confidential but we thought it might be helpful for members to know some of the issues and trends we […]

Ex-ITC Chair Becomes Honorary Doctor

ITC’s Chair between 2017-2022, was recently awarded a Degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa upon Alison King She was asked to address the graduating students and this is what she said: Acceptance speech for my Honorary Doctorate Hello everyone, First of all, I would like to thank Sally Ann Gritton for the wonderful introduction […]

November Members Highlights

On Wednesday 22nd November, ITC hosted a members forum with Hannah Lake, Director of Touring at Arts Council England. Members were invited to ask questions about the current state of mid and small-scale touring, and highlight the challenges they’re facing. As the guidance has recently been refreshed by ACE on how projects can be funded, […]

ITC Peer Problem-Solving Pilot Project

Leadership support – Learning through Listening Context:  In small arts organisations leadership roles (eg: Artistic Director, Executive Director, CEO, General Manager, Chair) are challenging, exposed and isolated.  During and following the pandemic ITC has advised on an increased number of work-based disputes (complaints, grievances, disciplinaries, project and contract breakdowns, company splits and closures). Add to […]

September Members Highlights

ITC Professional Development & Networking Event – 6th September, Oxford On 6th September ITC held a very well-attended live members’ meeting in Oxford hosted by Hub Member North Wall. It was great to meet our Oxfordshire-based members and equally brilliant to have so many members travel to the event from other parts of the country […]

We are recruiting: Legal and Industrial Relations Manager

ITC is seeking to employ a new Legal and Industrial Relations Manager to work part-time (0.6/ 3days per week) within our small team at the Albany Theatre, Deptford, South East London. ITC serves a dynamic, UK-wide membership community of small, independent performing arts organisations. We provide legal and management advice, training and professional development, advocacy […]

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 […]

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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

We are often asked about rates of pay, both those in our Ethical Manager Agreements and those for roles that are not covered by our union agreements.   Below is some guidance, we are always happy to discuss individual cases with members, and the current minimum rates that we have negotiated with Equity, BECTU, the Writers […]

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