We are delighted to welcome Project Facilitators Emily Summers and John Pickett to the China Plate team! Emily and John will be the brilliant duo delivering China Plate & Warwick Arts Centre’s Young Producers programme over the Spring of 2022!
Young Producers is a free grassroots talent development and training programme supporting young people aged 16-22 years from Coventry and Warwickshire to learn the skill of producing and use it to put on their very own arts event. Watch this space!
Can you introduce yourself?
Emily: I’m a theatre maker, actor and director, dabbling regularly in the festival/events realm. Heritage, comedy, music and the authentic stories and voices of real people inspire my work. Celebrating the extraordinary where all seems, ‘ordinary.’ Confidence in creativity.
John: I’m a teacher, writer, and creator primarily working in theatre and some film. In my work, you will definitely see the influence of horror and all things creepy or mind bending and I love a twist at the end. I work with young people aged 7-25+, making the creative arts accessible to all no matter what their background.
Why is working with young people important to you?
Emily: I have been so inspired by the young people I have worked with. Balancing rooms full of differing degrees of enthusiasm, energy, ideas, confidence, skill sets and walks of life continues to educate me. I aim to create an environment where young people feel they can be themselves, encourage one another and work together, towards a shared goal. To believe that they can have a go, without judgement.
John: Having been a part of the arts since the age of 10, I want to create new and exciting experiences for young people in my local area and beyond. I try to create, in my work, all the projects and opportunities I wish that I could have had as a young person, to give them a voice in their community and nationally.
What’s your favourite quote?
Emily: ‘Be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms…become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.’ – Roald Dahl
John: ’As long as you’re breathing, your story’s still going.’ – Darren Shan.
What aspiration do you have for 2022?
Emily: To say no sometimes. To be brave, explore new connections professionally… And to move more – become less sofa shaped!
John: I’m aiming to read 40 books this year and to re-energise my creative process and influence. One thing I would love would be to focus my time on my writing and make progress on some of the 5+ projects that I am procrastinating from.
Tell us a bit about your life outside work – what are your hobbies?
Emily: I love Yoga, a couple of times a week if I can. It’s so good for the mind. Also, I’ve got a deaf house rabbit called Nugget – he keeps me on my toes. Constant damage control. And, he growls (!)
John: I’m a huge TV and film buff and spend a lot of my time watching amazing, but equally I love some absolutely terrible, movies and TV shows. Horror is my favourite genre, which shows in my creative work, but I think Horrible Histories is my absolute top tier thing to watch.
Can you tell us a bit about the work you’re doing on Young Producers and what excites you about the project?
Emily: This project is going to be so varied, informative and encouraging for participants looking to forge their own pathways into the arts world. I’ve learnt so much, especially over the last two years with my own company during the pandemic, so I’m looking forward to sharing some of that and to creating a new, dynamic, youth led programme our 2022 Young Producer’s can be proud of.
John: I’m excited about working towards the final aim of a festival of work. Producing is a skill that I certainly had no experience in until more recent projects in my career and it’s something I wish I had more support and insight into. I’m really excited to be a part of something that could perhaps be the start of a young person’s career in the arts.
If you would like to find out more about our work, please contact us on:
If you would like to find out more about Young Producers, please visit our programme page here.
Young Producers 2022 is supported by China Plate, Warwick Arts Centre, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Hobson Charity, ESF Groundworks, Jean Singleton and Arts Connect.
Photo © Emily Summers