Nurturing New Talent
We are proud to be a leading force in cultivating the theatre-makers of tomorrow. Our creativity and in-house skills are widely recognised, giving confidence and guidance to those starting out and providing a creative springboard for work on a larger scale.
Our ethos is based on a sense of community. Actors, stage management and creative teams live and work on site. This enables them to develop their individual craft and explore new skills from our experienced and passionate team. This environment demands a commitment to the work that encourages a true sense of ensemble that is visible on stage.
The value of our work and our supportive ethos is further evidenced by the wide spectrum of companies and individuals who wish to work with us. The Watermill are proud to work with a select number of Associate Artists, Associate Companies and Creative Associates. These programmes have helped young emerging companies and individual artists and creatives flourish in the industry.
‘The Watermill is a theatre which encourages artistic growth and development at its very core. As an emerging theatre maker, The Watermill has been instrumental to my progress and learning; it has not only provided opportunities to work with the best artists, but the team has trusted me to create my own work, and platformed that alongside established writers as an equally important part of their programming. As a place for fostering both ideas and people, The Watermill is second to none.’ Emerging director and writer, Jessica Swale
The Watermill Ensemble is another way in which we nurture emerging artists, particularly Actor-Musicians. The Ensemble was established in 2017 by Artistic and Executive Director Paul Hart to make Shakespeare more engaging and accessible. They have produced five shows Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Just So.
The Watermill continues to prioritise gender equal casting throughout its programme, as exemplified by the 50/50 gender split in all of its recent Shakespeare productions as part of the Watermill Ensemble productions.
Our passion for nurturing emerging talent extends beyond those who perform on stage. We offer support and opportunities for professional development to directors, assistant directors, designers, lighting and sound designers, composers, stage management and technical staff.
Over the past year the theatre has given opportunities to 26 recent actor graduates and 4 emerging directors, with a focus on working with diverse talent. Thanks to dedicated funding from the Andrew Lloyd-Webber foundation, it has also been able to provide an opportunity for a Trainee Stage Management and Production Assistant to work alongside the professional team. We also train administration staff for careers in the arts from casting, marketing and fundraising.
Our extensive outreach programme means that we offer facilitation roles to those wishing to extend their portfolio of skills or to pursue a career in education and outreach work. Our outreach team also work closely with local young people, schools and the local community to introduce them to the world of theatre. Find out more about our opportunities to Take Part at The Watermill.
With a focus on talent, development and excellence in areas such as directing, choreography, orchestration and set design we are proud to work with the following creatives and support them in the careers.
Anthony Drewe, Playwright and Lyricist
Barney Norris, Playwright and Author
Caroline Sheen, Actor
George Stiles, Composer, Director and Playwright
Johnny Flynn, Musician and Actor
Katie Lias, Designer
Rosalie Craig, Actor
Sarah Travis, Musical Orchestrator and Supervisor
Sophie Stone, Actor and former Watermill Young company member
Tarek Merchant, Composer, Musical Director and Actor
Tom Attenborough, Director
Tom Jackson Greaves, Choreographer and Director
Danielle Pearson, Playwright
Abigail Pickard Price is Associate Director with a focus on new work and artist development. She has most recently directed Stiles and Drewe's musical Just So, based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling and a comedy adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, both for The Watermill's outdoor theatre seasons during 2020 and 2021.
Wildcard Theatre is our current Associate Company, giving them access to the theatre’s resources and artistic support. Wildcard Co-Artistic Director James Meteyard says: ‘Without The Watermill’s support we wouldn’t have been able to create our latest production, Electrolyte. The Watermill team is helping us to achieve our aim of transitioning from a fringe company to a national touring company.’
Our Creative Associate Scheme has been set up to support emerging artists. The network provides a safe space in which the artists can share and develop skills and gain industry insights. Mentorship is provided and the members take on roles as Assistant Director/ Designers and Director/ Designer on productions at The Watermill as part of their involvement with the theatre.
They may also be involved in our Outreach work running sessions for our regular participants.
The directors are;
Sara Aniqah Malik
The designers are;
Associate Sound Designer: David Gregory
The Directors are mentored by Chief Executive and Artistic Director Paul Hart and Associate Director Abigail Pickard Price, the Designers by Watermill Associate Artist Katie Lias.
Our Playwrights in Residence are Becca Chadder and Talitha Wing. Both creatives have been members of The Watermill’s youth theatre and we are excited to continue to be part of their creative journey.
They will be mentored by Associate Artists, Danielle Pearson following her successful three years as Playwright in Residence. This programme offers invaluable networking opportunities and a chance to work on current Watermill productions.
Established in 2016, by Artistic and Executive Director Paul Hart, The Watermill Ensemble is collective of new and emerging creatives and artists whose aim is to make Shakespeare more engaging and accessible, by using live music to create new versions of the classics. Each show casting consists of a 50/50 gender split. Their newest production is a bold and powerful adaption of Othello.
Executive and Artistic Director Paul Hart says: ‘The Watermill has always been the most wonderfully nurturing place to create work. We’ve found it’s the perfect environment to create productions that are bold, fresh and irreverent.’
Watermill Ensemble shows have toured both nationally and abroad.
The Watermill Theatre are proud to work alongside a number of talented creatives. Over the years a number of such have received the accolade of becoming an Honorary Associate Artists at the Watermill.