The Optimists FAQ’s

Written by Kristina
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30th April 2024

Applications for The Optimists Summer 2024 course are now open!

Here is a run-down of some key bits and places to find information about the course:


Information about The Optimists course can be found on our Opportunities page here – this includes application guidelines and details on how to apply. Accessible formats are available, including BSL & captioned and audio introductions about the course, alongside large print formats.


We also have a FAQ’s sheet available to download below – this covers the key questions we are often asked about the course. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Training & Development Producer Kristina on [email protected]


We are hosting two online information sessions on Wednesday 8th May and Wednesday 15th May from 7.00-8.30pm on Zoom. These sessions provide an opportunity to find out more about the course and ask any additional questions that you may have.

If this is something you feel you would find useful, please sign up via the links below to attend:

Wednesday 8th May – SIGN UP HERE
Wednesday 15th May – SIGN UP HERE



This year’s Optimist course is suitable for emerging producers, artists and creative practitioners, based in the West Midlands, who are hoping to develop their skills as professional producers, or as a producer of their own work, in the subsidised arts sector.

Sessions: 10 in-person sessions taking place over 7 weeks
Dates: Between Saturday 15th June and Saturday 3rd August 2024
Location: Venues across the West Midlands
Spaces: For up to 20 participants


For freelancers/individuals: £480 per person (inclusive of VAT)
For organisations:  £660 per person (inclusive of VAT)

Bursaries covering the full cost of the course will be available to those who have faced racism, discrimination and/or cultural barriers due to their ethnicity, disability, D/deafness, gender identity or socio-economic background – please refer to the application guidelines for more information.

Deadline for applications is 12pm (midday) on Friday 24th May



We are hoping to run an online Optimists course – if you would like to be kept up to date about this and other Training & Development opportunities from China Plate, please sign up to receive regular updates here.

Alternatively, check out our People-Focused Producing programme.

The Optimists Summer 2024 course is delivered in partnership with Arena Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre. Supported by Albany Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham REP, Belgrade Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, Newhampton Arts Centre & Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.


Logos for China Plate, Arena Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, Arts Council England, John Ellerman Foundation, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham REP, Belgrade Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre, Newhampton Arts Centre and Funded by UK Government.