What We Did
Why this Question?
We are aware that there was a rise in the number of directors and producers who were forming their own companies – partly out of choice and partly out of necessity. Consequently we are interested in exploring what new models of leadership may already exist. Examples including joint artistic directorships and collectives. Also, what alternative modes of leadership are being used successfully. For example quiet or collaborative leadership. We would like to understand what practical adjustments have been put in place to enable these new successful female leaders, such as part time flexible working led by a task based approach. We were also interested in how visible these alternative models are.
We have been looking at leadership within the context of running an organisation (role of artistic director, executive producer) but also leading a project, production, rehearsal room (role of director and show producer).
In collaboration with Tonic we created a questionnaire that went to the directors and producers networks (both men and women). We asked quite broad questions about how they perceive leadership; such as what does leadership mean to them, do they see themselves as leaders, whether they see themselves running a theatre company in the future, the reasons they set up their own companies, the skills they felt they possessed, lacked or needed to develop to lead a company, and the barriers they perceive might prevent them from becoming a leader. Tonic also led a number of focus groups (with both men and women). Associate Artistic Director Sue Emmas spoke with a number of artistic leaders including Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone, Sue Hoyle from Clore Leadership Programme, Laura Collier ,Head of the National Theatre Studio and groups of younger practitioners (both directors and producers of both genders).