China Plate

China Plate works with artists, venues, festivals and funders to develop, make and present engaging, adventurous and accessible new work. 

Our story and what we do…

Launched in 2006, China Plate is an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders to make original, exciting theatre that plays with form and has narrative at its heart.

China Plate are currently collaborating with Caroline Horton, Rachel Bagshaw, Chris Thorpe, Contender Charlie, Dan Jones, Inspector Sands and Sarah Punshon. 

The company are also Associate Producers at Warwick Arts Centre where they develop and commission new work, Artistic Associates at the New Wolsey Theatre where they are Directors of PULSE Festival, Programmers of New Directions (the NRTF showcase), producers of innovative development programmes including The Darkroom, The Optimists (producer training) and The First Bite and Bite Size Festivals and partners with The Place, The NRTF and Take Art on the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

China Plate are passionate about creating adventurous and imaginative new work with popular appeal. Using theatre to engage and inspire, the company takes work into venues, village halls, schools, on to the streets and to festivals in the UK and internationally.

In 2014, China Plate created, toured and programmed work for over 21,000 people (nationally and internationally) across 45 venues with a diverse programme of shows and events.

Curtain up on the future of theatre… Collier and Warwick are an impressive pair, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about them.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph.


What does China Plate do?

Broadly, there are three key strands to the company’s work – although every relationship is different and ever evolving, and many straddle different strands at one time.

  • Developing (artist development and commissioning)
  • Making (origination and touring)
  • Programming (seasons, festivals and events)

China Plate specialise in connecting a network of artists and development opportunities with venues, distribution routes and particularly audiences.

Our relationship with artists

China Plate choose every company and artist they work with very carefully, in most cases developing work based on the power of an idea rather than producing a finished product.

Every relationship is different, but in a lot of cases the company will support artists by nurturing ideas (from inception to stage) through collaborative discussion, whilst providing safe environments for work to grow alongside collaborative partners across the country.

Whilst we have a close and loyal relationship with a small group of artists we are always looking for opportunities to work with a broader group of theatre makers through programming, commissioning, development programmes and showcases.

China Plate are always interested in discovering artists and trying to see as much new work as possible, so if you have work you’d like one of the team to see (or have any other questions about what the company does) please get in touch.

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Ed Collier


Ed is a Co-Director of China Plate. Previously, an independent theatre producer he has produced work with Cartoon De Salvo, Caroline Horton, Pentabus and Unlimited. As a producer with Fuel he worked with Clod Ensemble, Gecko, Melanie Wilson, Sound&Fury and The Lyric, Hammersmith.

Ed is also a keen photographer.

Paul and Ed were the inaugural Centre Directors at The Hurst, The John Osborne Arvon Centre.

Paul Warwick


Paul is a Co-Director of China Plate and is also a freelance director having directed numerous shows across the UK. He was a founding member and artistic director of award-winning Unlimited Theatre. Paul was also the co-producer of PILOT, Birmingham’s work-in-progress platform and created the Bite-Size Festival with Warwick Arts Centre.

Paul and Ed were the inaugural Centre Directors at The Hurst, The John Osborne Arvon Centre.

Sarah-Jane Watkinson


Sarah-Jane lives in Birmingham and has worked with a wide range of companies and organisations across the West Midlands including The Play House theatre in education, Women & Theatre and Sampad South Asian Arts. She also produces Spanish theatre companies Sleepwalk Collective from the Basque Country and Atresbandes from Barcelona.

Rosie Kelly


Rosie has worked across the theatre, circus, cabaret, comedy and events sectors and was previously the Producer and General Manager for circus/theatre collective Company FZ.  She has also worked at Avalon Management with comedians including John Oliver, Richard Ayoade and Russell Howard, as Operations Manager for the touring cabaret venue The Famous Spiegeltent and as Assistant Producer for theatre O on projects including Delirium, created in collaboration with Enda Walsh.  Other companies/artists she has worked with include Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Sally Greene, Act IV, La Cliqué and Ursula Martinez.

Andrea Pierides


Andrea has worked in arts education for over 5 years and completed a MA in Applied Theatre at Central in 2016. She has previously worked for national initiatives, such as Sing Up and Arts Award for Trinity College London. She first worked for China Plate as the Education Coordinator for our production, Macbeth - Blood Will Have Blood in 2014. As a drama facilitator she has worked for Shakespeare Schools Festival, the Almeida and Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre - planning and delivering workshops to a range of participants, from young people passionate about theatre making to adults with dementia.

Tamara Moore


Tamara joined the China Plate team in July 2018. Prior to this Tamara was Administrator to the Producers at the Young Vic from 2016-2018, administrating on all productions including The Inheritance, Fun Home and the multi-award winning Yerma. After a few years working in film festival administration, Tamara produced work at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick from 2012-2016, including their inaugural in-house production Beyond Caring, which transferred to the National Theatre in 2015. 



Susan Wareham


Susan worked for two years for international arts production company Curated Place as the Production Manager, leading on largescale European Artist Development programmes and producing award-winning arts festivals throughout the UK and abroad. Previous to this she was Producer for Flare International Festival of Theatre and Projects Assistant at Clod Ensemble having also worked at Battersea Arts Centre and London International Festival of Theatre.

Sarah Isaacs


Sarah studied Art and History of Art at university, before venturing into the world of auctions as an administrator and cataloguer. She has previously worked as a Project Assistant for the Birmingham Art Map, Project Manager and Co-producer for TEDxBrum and Festival Co-ordinator for Brum Zine Fest. She has worked on a variety of projects as Illustrated Brum; an open collective exploring the role of contemporary art and design practices in the city; including One Hundred Thousand Welcomes and Outer Circle at the Midlands Arts Centre.

Board Members

Phyllida Hancock

Phyllida is a workshop designer and facilitator, focusing on leadership and organisational development. Since 2003 Phyllida has been an Associate of Olivier Mythodrama, Mary-Louise Clark Associates, Contender Charlie, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and the Higher Education Academy, delivering workshops on leadership and on change management, notably the Aurora programme for women in HE. She is a Teaching Associate at Warwick Business School.

Nadine Lewycky

I currently work as the Communications Officer for the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cambridge. I’ve been working in universities for over 7 years, mostly in outward facing roles, bringing researchers to the world, and bringing the outside world in! I hold a PhD in History from the University of York. When not working, I do some very Cambridge things: rowing, cycling and visiting the pub!

Simon Startin

Simon is a published playwright and theatre maker with a career spanning 25 years.  He is an associate artist of TRSE, London Bubble and Graeae. He is an alumni of the Battersea Art Centre 21st cventury leadership scheme, Young Vic directors placement and the China Plate Enhanced Optimists course.   He is currently working on his 15th professional commission, “Inspiration Porn” about the media portrayal of disability, and has just been shortlisted for the Unlimited fund. 

Nina Steiger

Nina is Senior Dramaturg at the National Theatre.  Prior to this, she was Associate Director at Soho Theatre and before this, worked in New York and regionally.

Nina also serves as a freelance dramaturg for screenwriters, artists and ensembles, and as a writer, her work has been produced and published in London, New York and Montreal.


Nadja Dias

Nadja is an independent senior producer and consultant with over 15 years' experience working internationally for organisations and artists including British Council, Candoco Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells, Nigel Charnock, Gecko and Liverpool Biennial. Nadja is currently working with Scottish multi-disciplinary artist Claire Cunningham and is supporting Joan Cleville Dance.

Iain Goosey

Iain is the Assistant Producer at the Young Vic Theatre. He previously worked as the Producer for China Plate and is the founder of Welsh touring company, Waking Exploits.

Tonya Nelson 

Tonya is Head of Museums and Collections at UCL. She has been working in the museums sector for over 10 years in various leadership roles.  Tonaya was formerly Manager of the Petrie Museum at UCL where she led a number of projects aimed at exploring the use of new digital technologies in museums and developing the role of museums in cultural diplomacy.  Tonya is a former Clore Leadership Fellow and British Council Culture Leadership Fellow, currently Chair of the Bomb Factory Art Foundation board of trustees; Chair of the Women Leaders in Museums Network (London) and on the boards of the Collections Trust, ICOM (International Committee on Museums) and UMG (University Museums Group). Prior to entering the cultural sector, Tonya was a corporate lawyer and management consultant in Washington, DC.  Tonya holds a BA degree in public policy, MA in art history and JD degree in law.



Jobs and Opportunities

Role Application Deadline Start Date
First Bite Festival 2019 Midlands 03rd December 2018 at 06:00pm 15th October 2018



02nd March, 22nd March and 05th April 2019

Presented by China Plate and Warwick Arts Centre

Commissioned by Midlands Art Centre and In Good Company

Supported by Derby Theatre, Attenborough Arts Centre & Camden People’s Theatre

The First Bite Festival is an eclectic mix of extracts and ideas from some of the Midland’s most exciting theatre makers.

We are looking for submissions from theatre makers from across the Midlands to take part in a festival of scratch performance.

First Bite will take place at 3 different venues, across 3 dates:

02nd March 2019 Midlands Art Centre (

22nd March 2019 Derby Theatre (

05th April 2019 Attenborough Arts Centre (

First Bite is an exciting and unique opportunity for artists/companies in the Midlands to develop new ideas and perform work in front of an audience of theatregoers and national venues/industry professionals. The festival operates an open-access application process.

All artists presenting work will be paid a fee and three of the programmed companies will go on to receive a commission of £3,000 to develop the work and to present it at its next stage, alongside a showcase of new performance work, during Bite Size at Warwick Arts Centre ( on 18th January 2020.

The commissioned companies will also have an opportunity to show their work in London in partnership with Camden People’s Theatre (

Application deadline: MONDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2018 @ 6pm

All partners share a commitment to inclusive practice and particularly welcome applications from D/deaf and disabled producers/makers. Where possible, we will assist in meeting additional access/support costs. Should you or your colleagues/collaborators require an easy read application form, or if you would like to contact someone about alternate ways to apply please email or call 0121 242 1493.

For more information and details of how to apply, download the information below.



The Optimists 2018 East and West Midlands 28th September 2018 at 05:00pm 24th August 2018

China Plate and Warwick Arts Centre in partnership with the Belgrade Theatre

A unique training course for emerging theatre makers and aspiring producers

The Optimists offers an insider’s view of navigating the independent theatre industry and getting your work out there.

“I came away from the programme feeling braver, more informed & more optimistic about making theatre than I ever have. I have so much information now & met a group of people who are experiencing many of the same challenges.” Caroline Horton, Optimists Alumni.

In the last two years have you…

- Decided to become a professional theatre maker?

- Started to produce theatre work professionally?

- Decided that you want to build a career making theatre?

The Optimists 2018 offers a vital introduction to the craft of making work in a professional context and building your professional network, de-mystifying the process of the administrative and organisational aspects of making theatre. Drawing on our extensive experience and real examples, The Optimists will arm you with knowledge and insight on the practicalities of making, funding, touring and marketing your work.

“The Optimists is invaluable for anyone wanting to navigate the arts industry. I have learned more than I could imagine possible and met so many inspiring (and very useful!) contacts.” Chetna Pandya, Optimist Alumni.

The Optimists 2018 will take place in a range of venues across the East and West Midlands this autumn. It will start with a daylong session at Warwick Arts Centre on Saturday 27th October and end with another full day at the Belgrade Theatre on Saturday 8th December - with six evening sessions in between.

The course will be led by China Plate, ‘Finger on the pulse producers’ (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian); supported by the Belgrade Theatre including Tamasha Sustained Producer, Lian Wilkinson and guest industry experts.

Bursaries are available to BAMER / PoC and D/deaf and disabled emerging producers and theatre-makers.

Application deadline: Friday 28th September 2018

For more information and details of how to apply, download the information below.



Producer London or Birmingham 10th August 2018 at 05:00pm 01st October 2018

China Plate is seeking to appoint a Producer to join the Company’s dynamic team. 

With a proven track record producing in a venue, production company or working independently, you will have a passion for contemporary theatre, a great rapport with artists, venues and funders, a social conscience and an eye for detail.

Established in 2006, China Plate is an independent producer of contemporary theatre with a portfolio that crosses making, distribution, programming and development. China Plate works with some of the UK’s most talented artists, harnessing their ambition and skill to deliver high-quality work that reaches a broad and diverse audience.

China Plate has work currently touring or in development with Inspector Sands, Caroline Horton, Dan Jones, Contender Charlie, Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Bagshaw, Joan Clevillé Dance, Ben Wright’s bgroup, David Edgar, Urielle Klein-Mekongo and Chris Haydon.

With offices in Birmingham and London, China Plate is currently Associate Producer at Warwick Arts Centre, with a focus on product and partnership development; Director of Pulse Festival at New Wolsey Theatre; director of the First Bite / Bite Size Festivals, partners in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative (NRTF, The Place, Take Art) and Hopper (Take Art, Surrey Arts), consultants for Hull City of Culture 2017 Back To Ours, and directors of The Darkroom and the biannual China Plate Optimists programme for emerging producers and theatre-makers.

Full job description and person specification can be downloaded using the link below.

China Plate welcomes applications from people of diverse backgrounds including BAME, LGBTQI and disabled. We promote diversity and access across its activities. We are committed to equality of opportunity and encourage application from individuals currently underrepresented in the arts. Disabled candidates who meet the job criteria will be guaranteed an interview. 

Closing date: 5pm Friday, 10th August

Interviews held in London on Wednesday 5th September  



Producing Intern London and Edinburgh 01st June 2018 at 05:00pm 01st January 1970

Paid internship for Summer 2018

We are looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic, hard working person for the role of Producing Intern to assist the producing team with a range of projects in the run up to and including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is a fantastic opportunity for the right candidate to learn and gain a huge amount of experience in the theatre industry and learn about the work of a busy producing company, providing a direct route into navigating the Fringe, with abundant social and networking opportunities. The Producing Intern will be supported and mentored by the China Plate team.

More information and the person specification is below.

Salary: £471 per week (ITC/Equity administrator rate)

Closing date: Friday 1st June at 5pm

Interviews: Monday 11th June, London venue TBC

This role will be based at the China Plate office in Brixton, London and in Edinburgh during the Festival. Travel to Edinburgh and accommodation for the duration (own room en suite) will be supplied.

We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible, until 28th August 2018


Administrator – full time Birmingham 08th June 2018 at 12:00pm 01st January 1970

China Plate is seeking to appoint an Administrator to join the Company’s team as they embark on an exciting new phase of the company’s development as a new member of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. 

We are looking for someone organised and efficient, with skills in finance, book keeping, communications, company and project administration.

Established in 2006, China Plate is an independent producer of contemporary theatre with a portfolio that crosses making, distribution, programming and development. China Plate works with some of the UK’s most talented artists, harnessing their ambition and skill to deliver high-quality work that reaches a broad and diverse audience.

More information and the person specification is below.

China Plate welcomes applications from people of diverse backgrounds including BAME, LGBTQI and disabled. We promote diversity and access across activities. We are committed to equality of opportunity and encourage application from individuals currently underrepresented in the arts. Disabled candidates who meet the job criteria will be guaranteed an interview. 

Salary: £20,000

Closing date: 12 noon on Friday 8th June 2018

Interviews: Thursday 14th June in Birmingham, venue TBC