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TESSA BIDE

Creative and Producing Theatre Consultant

ABOUT

I am a Producer and Theatre Maker with 14 years of experience working in small-scale, devised theatre. My award-winning company Tiny & Tall Productions (formerly Tessa Bide Productions) has received over 20 project grants, totalling roughly £500k, from Arts Council England in the past eleven years and the company’s nine productions have toured nationally and abroad.

For each production, T&T 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'. In fact, the 'hats' I often wear are: 'writer', 'dramaturg', 'director', 'outside eye', 'devisor', 'maker', 'designer' and 'puppeteer', with the occasional 'technical stage manager', 'sound and video editor' and 'puppet maker' thrown in.

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HOW I WORK

I consult artists and companies to make excellent theatre for a wide range of audiences, but I specialise in young audiences and families. My work can be split up into two main areas: producing and creative.

 

Producing

Often, my help starts when clients have an idea for a show, but don't know what happens next. Or perhaps they've been rejected by Arts Council England and want help in getting a successful grant. I won't produce the work for them, but instead 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.

Access Support:

I am registered with ACE as a support worker, which means I can help you write your application for a project grant or a 'Developing Your Creative Practice' grant if you have access needs. Together we ask ACE for the money to cover my time in supporting you, and this gets paid directly to me. So you get your application written, and I get paid to help you…win win! 

Access needs: This means you, if you have a physical or mental health condition that means it’s difficult for you to read/comprehend the application forms or fill them in. This includes dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism or another neurodiversity (there are lots in the performing arts!). ACE do not require proof of diagnosis.

Creative

My favourite type of consulting is creative consulting during the production process. This could involve me being in rehearsals every day as a Director or Writer, or coming in for a few days to bring expertise as an Outside Eye, Dramaturg, Movement Director or Puppetry Director... or a combination of all of them. My extensive experience in working in small-scale, devised theatre means that I have strong skills in all these areas. Whether it's re-writing a scene, choreographing physical theatre or puppetry, or shaping the overall arc of a story, I can help you.

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 two, one-hour online consultancy sessions free of charge. 

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