Consultant in Producing Small-Scale Theatre Companies and Artists
I am a Producer and Theatre Maker with 14 years of experience working in small-scale, devised theatre. My award-winning company Tessa Bide Productions has received 18 project grants, totalling roughly £250k, from Arts Council England in the past eight years and the company’s eight productions have toured nationally and abroad.
For each production, TBP strikes up new partnerships with National museums, charities and venues. Participation and outreach are also core to the company’s work, and every production is researched and developed closely with the target audience. As well as creating my own work, I work as a performer and as a consultant for other artists and companies. My experience as both an artist and a producer positions me perfectly to support artist/makers and to understand the difficulties that can come from 'wearing both hats'.
HOW I WORK
I am not a regular freelance producer. I support artists to learn the valuable skills to produce themselves, saving money long-term and building skills and contacts that artists can use for the rest of their careers. I can support you in building your brand, creating professional marketing materials and tour packs, writing funding applications, pitching your work, tour booking and organising tours.
How deeply we work together is up to you, we will start with an initial consulting session during which I will establish where you are with your current practice and how I can help. We will then decide together how to proceed and how much guidance you need to move forward. This could mean I give you pointers on how to write a funding application, for example, or a more in depth relationship where I proof and edit drafts you have written. This all depends on your budget and my availability. As an artist myself, I understand the limitations that come with our funding landscape so I will try to work with all budgets.
Black Lives Matter
BIPOC theatre makers are grossly underrepresented in our industry, and I am passionate about helping to change that. If you are a person of colour, please let me know and I'll offer a minimum of 3, one-hour consultancy sessions free of charge.
"Tessa was instrumental in my successful DYCP grant. Not only was she was great at helping me clarify my ideas and pare the text down to a succinct clarity, but having her on the journey also spurred me on to completing the application early! Thank you Tessa - I will certainly be getting in touch for future projects."
I consulted on, and edited, Steve Symon's successful Arts Council England 'Developing Your Creative Practice' application - his first time applying. Spring 2021.
Photo credit: Steve Symons, Mutual Instruments
"Tessa was instrumental in our successful Project Grants Application. Her extensive knowledge of the process and criteria were invaluable and helped to identify areas for improvement. Tessa's rigourous and methodical approach provides a firm base on which to construct an application. Her experience, enthusiasm and support make what can be a daunting process much more manageable. I would highly reccommend working with Tessa. Excellent value for money and the results speak for themselves."
I consulted on, and edited, OftheJackel's Arts Council England bid - their second successful bid as a company. The bid was to develop an existing piece, and R&D a new show, as well as undergo some company development. Spring 2021.
Photo credit: Dylan Tate
"Working with Tessa was a joy. She completely engaged with our project and quickly saw the holes that needed filling. She has a great knowledge of funding and project management from her own direct experience of theatre making, but also a passion that really shines through. On top of this she is just a lovely person to work alongside with complete focus, tea and giggles. I hope we continue to work together in the future."
I co-wrote Paper Jungle's first Arts Council England bid, funded by an access grant from ACE, for their production of 'Three Suns'. It was successful first time (June 2019), and I went on to produce the R&D and first mini-tour.
“We worked with Tessa as our consultant on a funding application for our touring show. Despite having great feedback on previous applications, we were unsure as to why we weren't having successful responses. Tessa offered her experience and wisdom, providing insightful guidance that other theatre mentor professionals working in this area were unable to offer. Tessa has a wealth of experience and really knows what is needed for successful grant applications. She is astute, sensitive and able to see the bigger picture as well as important details - her planning model is very effective. After working with Tessa, we received our much needed Arts Council Grant and were able to tour our show. We would definitely work with her again and recommend her to anyone working within the theatre and arts environment.”
China Blue Fish and Deborah Antoinette.
I consulted on a successful Arts Council England Project Grant for their show Queen C*nt Sacred or Profane, following three unsuccessful grants. This was the company's first successful ACE grant
"Tessa worked with us on our first ever grant application, and we really needed someone with experience to look at our application. Tessa gave us some fantastic advice and also gave us tips we never would have known about! With her advice and support, our application really went up a notch and we ended up being successful! She also gave us advice to shape our website and Touring Pack, which were in dire need of transformation. As a new company, advice like this was absolutely invaluable."
I consulted on the company’s branding, website and tour pack; and on a successful Arts Council England Project Grant for The Tale Of The Cockatrice. This was the company's first successful ACE grant.
"Tessa is highly knowledgeable and experienced in writing successful Arts Council applications, and really helped us to refine and shape our successful application for a tricky project. We really feel we wouldn't have been successful in attaining Arts Council funding without Tessa's help and guidance."