Three people surround a person standing on a chair, each holding their hand up towards the person on the chair as if they are holding a microphone.

China Plate work with a network of 65+ venues to tour, commission and co-produce work.

We also have a number of close relationships with a wide range of partner organisations including venues, funders, development organisations, festivals and producers to deliver strategic national projects. Chief among these is Warwick Arts Centre, where China Plate have been resident Associate Producers for over 10 years. We work with Warwick Arts Centre to develop and commission new work and to support the continued growth of the independent theatre sector in the Midlands.

This includes triggered@warwick – an artist development programme, supporting artists with time, space, producing support, a commissioning fee, and an audience to reflect on their work. A recent example is BREACH; a devised theatre company founded by theatre-makers Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens with filmmaker Dorothy Allen-Pickard; whose show After the Act was commissioned through triggered.

After the Act by BREACH | Photo © Alex Brenner

Current partnerships

A group of nine men and women standing together in a group, looking directly at the camera.

Musical Theatre Darkroom

Presented by China Plate, Birmingham Hippodrome, Musical Theatre Network, Mercury Musical Developments and Royal & Derngate, Northampton, the Musical Theatre Darkroom is an artist development programme that supports the generation of original British musical theatre productions.

The project brings together experienced musical theatre practitioners and writing teams / artists to collaboratively interrogate traditions, models, and approaches to making musical theatre.

For more information, please visit our Musical Theatre Darkroom page here.

Musical Theatre Darkroom Participants 2019
Photo © Royal & Derngate

Two men in costume pretending to play fight with another man sat down, while two women look on laughing.

Derby CAN

The Derby Creative Arts Network (CAN) is a project funded by Arts Council England’s (ACE) Producing Hubs pilot.

Derby CAN consists of the following partners: Derby Theatre, Déda, Baby People and QUAD (Derby-based National Portfolio Organisations), China Plate, Crying Out Loud and In Good Company (Strategic National Partners), Milk Presents, Not Too Tame, Maison Foo and Wild Rumpus (Independent theatre and production companies) and University of Derby, Derby County Community Trust and Derby City Council (Other local partners).

Derby CAN was one of two venues selected to receive ACE funding, coming from the National Lottery, and has been awarded £1.5 million over three years to become a Producing Hub. The pilots are intended to test the potential of Producing Hubs to respond to the 2016 Analysis of Theatre in England report, which identified a gap in such support for performing arts organisations outside of London.

As a network it programmes work in community settings across the city; produces new small-scale productions that tour into communities and beyond; new mid-scale work which plays on the Derby Theatre main stage and outdoor work which plays at festivals like Festé and across the city. It also provides artists with opportunities to work on research and development together and deliver community and artist development opportunities.

For more information visit Derby Theatre’s website.

Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out by Not Too Tame
Photo © Chris Webb

Three women jumping in the air and holding dance poses.

Rural Touring Dance Initiative

In March 2015, Arts Council England’s ‘Rural evidence and data review’ found that only 2% of NPO funded dance companies toured to rural areas in 2012/13.

From March 2015 – December 2021, China Plate joined forces with the National Rural Touring ForumThe Place and Take Art to launch an innovative initiative for making and touring dance performances to rural areas. The aim of the project was to seek out great dance companies that were excited to tour rurally, and to support rural promoters and schemes to build audiences for dance in rural spaces. Originally a 3-year project, the Rural Touring Dance Initiative has been extended until 2026, receiving funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Arts Council England.

It’s current partners (The Place, Highlights, NRTF, Sonia Sabri Company, Take Art) will aim to support 10 new associate venues to programme dance in rural areas and market towns, many of them in Levelling Up for Culture places, the funding will also enable RTDI to support eight dance artists and companies per year to tour their work to rural areas, with over 200 performances and 90 workshops expected between autumn 2023 and summer 2026.

For more information visit National Rural Touring Forum website.

6 Feet 3 Shoes by Slanjayvah Danza
Photo © Boneshaker Photography

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Rural Touring Dance Initiative

Helping to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of dance promoted by Rural Touring schemes all over the country.

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Musical Theatre Darkroom

Musical Theatre Darkroom is a groundbreaking laboratory programme launched to develop and commission original new musicals for mid-scale touring.

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