“Fingers on the pulse producers China Plate”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

36656 Audience & Participants

111 Engagement Sessions

96 Digital Products

Challenging the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it.

Launched in 2006, we are an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders to develop, make and present engaging, entertaining and accessible new work. We are passionate about creating adventurous and imaginative theatre with popular appeal and a social purpose. Using performance to engage and inspire, we take shows into theatres, village halls, schools, on to the streets and to festivals in the UK and internationally.

In 2019, we created, toured and programmed work for over 33,000 people across 134 venues (nationally and internationally), with a diverse programme of shows and events. In 2020, we created, distributed, and programmed work for over 36,000 people across a range of online digital platforms – pivoting our shows and events to adapt during the height of the pandemic.

We are resident Associate Producers at Warwick Arts Centre where we develop and commission new work.

From international award-winning to emerging artists.

We collaborate to realise artists’ ambition and vision delivering high quality work that reaches a broad and diverse audience. At the heart of our model is a suite of development programmes to nurture artistic practice, facilitate collaboration, commission work, increase access and widen diversity across scales.

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A woman holding a globe and microphone in the dark, the globe lights up her face.

Caroline Horton

An award-winning theatre maker, performer, writer & director; currently touring the UK with All of Me.

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A man singing into a microphone, against a projected backdrop.

Chris Thorpe

A critically acclaimed writer & performer; developing the final show in his trilogy with Rachel Chavkin.

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A woman sitting in a wheelchair, not looking at the camera, with a pen and paper in hand.

Rachel Bagshaw

Award-winning director & theatre maker; recent film adaptation of The Shape of the Pain for BBC.

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The Optimists Spring 2023

Are you an emerging producer or creative hoping to develop your professional producing skills in the subsidised arts sector? Check out The Optimists!...

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Are you a skilled and creative Producer? Do you enjoy taking a leadership role? Apply now for our Producer role!...

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The Optimists LogoA group of people on stage holding their right arm up in the air.