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Starting a Theatre Company

with Poppy Keeling and Pravanya Pillay

Join Wise Children’s Executive Producer Poppy Keeling, and Artistic Director of new arts organisation Stomping Ground Pravanya Pillay, to learn about their experiences of starting theatre companies. The course is aimed at people thinking about, or in the early stages of, starting their own companies. We will explore how to articulate your Mission, the essentials of a Business Plan and why you need one. We will also look at how to ensure your company’s vision and values infuse through every part of your planning. 


We're looking for people who've had some experience in producing or arts administration, and who want to develop their career with the School for Wise Children.

Applications for Starting a Theatre Company are now closed, but you can still attend the Webinar.

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Dates - Thursday 2nd July to Monday 13th July. The course will comprise 9 hours of contact time on Zoom, plus time spent working independently on projects.

Click here for a provisional timetable.

Price* - £135 (includes membership to the Wise Children Club), with free places available

About the course leaders

Poppy Keeling

Poppy is Wise Children's Executive Producer.

Before Wise Children, Poppy spent nearly ten years at Complicité, as a Producer and as the Director of the company's award-winning Creative Learning Programme. 

As a producer, her work includes; The Encounter, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War On Cancer, Lionboy, The Master and Margarita, Endgame, Shun-Kin and A Disappearing NumberCreative Learning work includes participatory projects; Like Mother, Like Daughter for mothers and daughters from different religious groups; the Ensemble Maths Project; Seen and Not Heard with Kirsty Housley; and the award-winning Tea with Geraldine Pilgrim.

Poppy Keeling
Pravanya Pillay

Pravanya Pillay


Pravanya is the founder and Programme Director of Stomping Ground, an arts organisation which aims to empower young people of colour through access to and representation in Bristol's arts and cultural landscape.


As Programme Director, Pravanya has delivered the accessible theatre training course, 'Theatre Gym', as well as two successful shows starring 'Theatre Gym' cohorts, Small Talk (December 2017, Bristol Improv Theatre) and Our Street (January 2020, Bristol Old Vic) which she also directed and produced.


Pravanya is a comedic performer - starring, directing and producing her own show 1997 Election Stand Up Special (October 2019, The Cube) and reprising the show for Watershed (December 2019).


Pravanya sits on Wise Children's Board of Trustees and has been featured on the 2019 'BME Powerlist' and in Rife Magazine's 2019 '24 Under 24'

*The School for Wise Children is committed to making theatrical training accessible and offers at least 50% of our places for free to those who would not be able to train otherwise. Due to our funding, we are unable to offer free places to those outside the UK. You need to be aged 18 or older to participate in a School for Wise Children course. 

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