Wednesday 17 February 2021 - 16:57

The Ekaterinburg State Theatre Institute and the Oxford School of Drama offer two unique seminars during which British theatre producers will share some of the secrets of their success. 

The speakers will be Eilene Davidson, a commercial producer with many years’ experience in the London West-End and the USA, and Joey Dawson, a successful young producer and CEO of Wildcard theatre company. 

The program offers two open workshops for culture and arts managers, performing arts producers, and theatre/performance studies students. 

Areas discussed may include: 

  • How to set up a production: choice of play, director and cast, market influences, budgeting, securing backing and funding, marketing, etc
  • Feeling the pulse of the times: choosing the right project 
  • Expectation, costs, timeline, priorities, team
  • Selecting stakeholders and how to reach them
  • How to prepare the presentation of the idea, and choosing what is relevant
  • How to organise the production
  • Internal processes and how to promote at the time of pandemic 
  • Online and offline events, guest lists, promotion and ticket selling
  • The life of the production afterwards and how to promote one’s role and achievements in order to get new projects 

Seminars are free and will be held online (Zoom) with translation into Russian. Registration is required. 

The project also includes a series of master classes in acting and voice for first year acting and directing students mentored by theatre director Alexander Blinov and film lecturer Alexei Fedorchenko. This training program will explore contemporary British approaches to acting Shakespeare and working with classical text. 


Polina Kalinina - is a British-Russian theatre director working in the UK. After completing her training at LAMDA she worked as an assistant director at the Orange Tree Theatre. It was there that Polina made her professional debut with ‘Dutchman’ by Amiri Baraka. The Orange Tree Theatre's interest in new and re-discovered plays has been a strong influence on her work. Polina’s directing credits include: Anna Karenina (Clifftown Theatre), The Noble Nine (Vault Festival), Islanders (Soho Theatre), Julius Caesar (Globe Neuss), Playboy of the Western World (Southwark Playhouse), Flashes (Soho Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Tobacco Factory), Dutchman (Orange Tree), Overruled (Old Red Lion).

Joanna Weir Ouston became a Designated Linklater voice teacher in 1991, and is the Senior Voice Consultant at The Oxford School of Drama. An actor and director, in 1989 she completed post-graduate voice studies with distinction at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London where she subsequently taught on the MA Voice Studies course for 27 years, and also the BA Acting programme. She has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic, West End and regional theatres, the BBC, and also regularly works in Australia, Europe, and the United States. She has directed several Shakespeare plays as well as contemporary drama in the UK and abroad, and has worked as a writer for radio and television. Her chapter “The Breathing Mind, the Feeling Voice” was published in Breath In Action (2009).

Programme and schedule: 

February 18th 18:00 – 19:30 (Moscow time) - Joey Dawson will talk about the process of starting a theatre company in the UK, outlining some of the main pitfalls facing a young or new producer. He will discuss the steps involved in creating a show project for festivals and small tours, and examine questions such as: ‘Show concept - what ideas to produce?’ and ‘How to understand and agree on copyright?’ Joey will also give pointers on budgeting, attracting partners, effective marketing, and identifying the target audience. 

Joey Dawson has worked as a producer for theatre and film for the last 6 years and prides himself on producing thought-provoking and challenging work that reaches a varied audience. Initially, he entered the entertainment industry as an actor, training at the Birmingham School of Acting and then The Oxford School of Drama. Upon graduating in 2015, Joey co-founded the theatre company Wildcard Theatre Company Ltd. Joey has produced a number of theatre productions and events for Wildcard, the most notable being the award-winning gig-theatre production Electrolyte. This particular show premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018, toured for 10 weeks internationally and then returned to the Edinburgh Festival in 2019. Joey’s success and hard work have enabled him to gain not only critical acclaim but a diverse and sustainable income stream, warranting him Wildcard’s CEO. During his career, he has produced over eight theatrical events, with a further four in development, and two short films, with a further two in development. Joey received producer training from NFTS, Stage One & the Independent Theatre Council (ITC).

Moderator: Anna Glukhanyuk, PhD in Cultural Studies, Associate Professor, Rector of Ekaterinburg State Theatre Institute

Please register to attend. 

February 23rd 18:00-19:30 (Moscow time) - Eileen Davidson will share her rich experience of producing plays in London's West End and the United States, giving practical advice on the successful promotion of theatre projects. She will discuss the practice of an independent commercial producer and how it differs from the activities of a theatre owner or a subsidiary company; and will examine the full cycle of a production project: from choice of play and attracting investors, to promoting and developing a successful PR campaign. 

Eilene is an international theatre producer who works in UK, USA and Europe. Recent produced plays include the UK premiere of Monogamy (Park Theatre and UK tour), War Paint (Nederlander Theatre NYC), Paper Dolls (Mosaic Theatre Washington USA), Misty (Trafalgar Studios), Emilia (Vaudeville Theatre), Admissions (Trafalgar Studios), 9-5 (Savoy Theatre), Starry Messenger (Wyndham’s Theatre), On Your Feet (London Coliseum and UK tour), Betrayal (West End and Broadway) and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Trafalgar Studios). Recently, Eilene also co-produced Uncle Vanya and Leopoldstadt with Sonia Friedman Productions. She is due to produce Anything Goes this summer (Barbican Theatre)

In 2017 Eilene set up Stage Traffic Productions to exclusively showcase new writing in the USA and UK. Recent acclaimed productions include: This Little Life of Mine (Park Theatre), Late Company and 3 Women (both Trafalgar Studios), Guide for the Homesick (Boston, USA). She is developing several new plays with emerging playwrights for showcase in 2022.

Eilene formerly worked as an actress, writer and dramaturg in USA and UK, is on the board of the prestigious Huntington theatre in Boston, and is on BAFTA’s President’s Circle.

Moderator: Anna Glukhanyuk, PhD in Cultural Studies, Associate Professor, Rector of Ekaterinburg State Theatre Institute

Please register to attend