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Future of Theatre event

10:00 - 18:00

The Future of Theatre conference

A three-day extravaganza of keynotes, panels, interviews, deep-dives and showcases exploring what lies ahead for the sector, featuring the most innovative people and projects in theatre.

The digital conference will take place on Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 18 on an interactive website where you can watch presentations, chat to fellow attendees and have the opportunity to pose questions to panellists. Headline speakers will be announced soon.


Early bird tickets on sale now

A limited number of early bird tickets with a 38% discount are now available. Click here to book your three-day pass and you’ll be able to watch the entire packed programme.


Free panel discussions

In the run up to the Future of Theatre conference, The Stage has started the conversation by hosting a series of video panel discussions FREE for The Stage subscribers. Find out more details below.


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For all the latest news about Future of Theatre, sign up to our mailing list.

Awards Step

What is Future of Theatre?

Future of Theatre is a three-day, online conference.


Over the three days you will hear from a diverse range of theatre experts, including well-known names but also those who wouldn’t normally be in the spotlight. The conversations will address onstage and offstage topics across commercial, subsidised and not-for-profit theatre. Topic areas include

  • Community & Audience
  • Shows & Artistic Practice
  • Money & Finance
  • The Built Environment
  • The Workforce

There will be opportunities to engage in conversation as well as access to key industry leaders, innovators and suppliers.

You will be engaged, challenged and inspired by a varied programme featuring exclusive interviews, thought-provoking panel discussions and insightful presentations on the digital main stage.


The Future of Theatre conference will take place online on Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 18, from 10am to 6pm daily. More details on the line-up will be announced soon.


Early bird tickets are on sale now with a 38% discount, click here for more details on how to book.

What can I expect from this conference?


Come together with the wider industry to share in a conversation and reflect on what works well, what could be better and the practical ways theatremakers and organisations can move towards a more successful, creative and resilient future.


Be challenged about why theatre operates the way it does and engage in discussions about what the future could and should look like, and what practical steps we can take to make that change happen.


Hear directly from leaders from across the industry to discover their thoughts on subjects including: ticket pricing, financing shows, running buildings, maintaining and developing the workforce and reaching new audiences and communities.

Education and hope

Find out about the latest innovations, best practice and how theatremakers are continuing to thrive, despite the huge challenges they face. Get inspired and pick up practical tips that can be translated and implemented in your own work.

Future of Theatre panel discussions

To initiate key conversations about the future of theatre, we will be hosting a series of digital panel discussions in the weeks leading up to the conference.


Each will be chaired by a senior journalist and will feature three panellists drawn from across the performing arts.


Subscribers to The Stage can access these discussions for free as part of their membership.

Sign up for the next panel discussion here. This link is only available to subscribers of The Stage

If you believe you should have access but cannot login please contact

To become a subscriber, you can take out a subscription here. Personal subscriptions start from £3.98 a month or access for your entire organisation is available for a discounted rate. Simply contact for more information.


Watch on demand

Missed the discussions so far? The Stage subscribers can watch all previous panel discussions on demand here. (This link is only available to subscribers of The Stage)

Next panel:

Next panel:

What do teachers need from theatres to support drama in schools?

Date: Tuesday, May 11

Time: 11am

Location: Online


Ahmet Ahmet, Head of Get Into Theatre, The Stage (chair of the panel)

Sarah Eastaff, Secondary Schools and Further Education Programme Manager, National Theatre

Louisa Fearnley, Drama Teacher

Dan Thomas, Drama Teacher & Head of Oracy, School 21


CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO ATTEND (This link is only available to subscribers of The Stage)

Our speakers

Ahmet Ahmet

Ahmet Ahmet (chair of the panel)

Head of Get Into Theatre

The Stage

Sarah Eastaff

Sarah Eastaff

Secondary Schools and Further Education Education Programme Manager

National Theatre

Louisa Fearnley

Louisa Fearnley

Drama teacher


Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas

Drama teacher, head of oracy and a senior leader

School 21

We will update this webpage with more details about our upcoming guest speakers and the topics they will cover as soon as they are announced. If you have any questions, please contact and we’ll be happy to help.

Get Involved

Sponsor opportunities
Showcase your brand and expertise alongside key industry figures from across the arts industry by becoming a sponsor. Please take a look at the sponsorship packages on offer here and email to find out more.


Got a question?

For all event enquiries contact

For media enquiries contact


Support the freelancers ticket scheme

If you are interested in financially supporting the free tickets for freelancers scheme to enable us to extend this further, we would love to have that conversation. Contact


Be part of the discussion

Share your thoughts online before, during and after the panel discussions and conference using #FutureofTheatre. Don't forget to tag @TheStage so we can share your messages.

Future of Theatre Sponsors

Future of Theatre Supporters

Future of Theatre Sponsors

Future of Theatre Supporters


Purchase your three-day virtual pass today for the Future of Theatre conference

Take advantage of our early bird discount

Ticket details

We have released a limited number of three-day passes for just £49, with our early bird discount. By purchasing your pass today, you'll save 38%!


To purchase your pass, simply click on the blue 'Add to Basket' button in the bottom right side of your screen and fill in your details.


We also have an allocation of free tickets available for theatre freelancers. Find out more below.


The Future of Theatre conference is a three-day extravaganza of keynotes, panels, interviews, deep-dives and showcases featuring the most innovative people and projects in theatre.

What's included?

  • 3 full days of conference content (10am - 6pm)
  • 21+ hours of exclusive sessions featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, data led presentations and Q&As with key industry leaders, innovators and suppliers
  • Access to on demand recordings after the conference
  • Opportunities to ask key industry professionals and suppliers your questions in live Q&As
  • Network with other theatre professionals attending the event

How are the tickets priced?

We wanted to use the Future of Theatre Conference as a way of bringing people from across the entire industry together to assist in its recovery and discuss where we go from here. An important part of that has been making tickets to the event as affordable as possible, while also covering the costs of producing the conference and paying freelancers and panel chairs who are taking part.


Got a question? Have a look at our frequently asked questions here.

If your question hasn't been answered then please feel free to contact us at

Who is the conference for?


Everyone. Theatremakers from all areas of the industry should find something to light a fire and inspire them. Stage managers, lighting designers, students, marketers, theatre owners, agents, actors and everyone in between should find discussions and presentations which will challenge, encourage and educate. Future of Theatre will speak to all areas of the theatre sector including subsidised and commercial theatre and to onstage and offstage professionals.

Free tickets available for freelancers


We have launched a scheme for freelancers, supported by Arts Council England, providing 250 three-day passes for theatre freelancers to attend the conference for free.


The freelancer ticket scheme opened on Friday, April 23. If you are a theatre freelancer and would like to request a free pass, please contact for more details. Passes will be given on a first come, first serve basis.


If you would like to support this scheme by purchasing an allocation of tickets so that more freelancers can attend for free, contact to find out more.

Attend with your team and get a group discount


Bring the rest of your team along and benefit from a group discount. To book a group pass for 6 or more people please send your enquiry to Rachel at


What can you expect from the Future of Theatre conference?

The conference will focus on these five areas:

Community & Audience

Community & Audience

How does theatre cement its position within its local community as a core civic service? How do theatre companies deepen their relationships with audiences? How does an audience become a community?

In these insightful sessions we will evaluate how theatres can develop artistic programmes that are more reflective of the communities they serve and examine the role theatres play in engaging, entertaining and supporting their local communities. We will also cover the importance of producing community theatre, stimulating rich conversations around how theatremakers can build a community around a show.

Shows & Artistic Practice

Shows & Artistic Practice

What will ‘new work’ look like? What genres and subjects will audiences want to engage with post-pandemic? What is the future of the live experience in a post-pandemic world?

Join us as we delve into what shows could look like in the future and how producers can future proof them. We will spark informative debate around how productions will engage audiences and encourage them to return. We will explore how commissioning new work may change and how the use of digital could change the way audiences experience live theatre.

Money and finance

Money & Finance

Will ticket prices fall as we enter a global recession? How will we fund future productions? What is the future of government support for theatre?

Together, we will explore opportunities that might be available to fund arts organisations in the future. We will also provide you with valuable tips and advice on audience development, driving audience sales beyond tickets as well as developing cost-effective ticket pricing models, fundraising initiatives and donor schemes.

The Built environment

The Built Environment

What does a 21st century theatre building look like? How can theatres become more sustainable? Should theatre buildings be used for more than putting on shows?

Our panel of experts will provide you with insight into how theatre buildings could look in the future with a focus on reconfiguring auditoriums and developing green, environmental policies. We will also cover how theatres can best utilise their spaces and facilities, from maximising their services to the wider community to identifying new revenue streams beyond staging productions.


The Workforce

How has the workforce been impacted by Covid? Are pay levels sufficient to keep skilled workers and attract a diverse and talented future workforce? How does theatre balance employee welfare with the high-pressure nature of the business?

This strand will explore what theatre needs to continue to build a resilient, diverse workforce equipped for the challenges and opportunities we will soon face. We will explore the need for workforce diversity and discuss the ways the industry can act to prevent exacerbating the workforce issues it was already facing. We will explore the challenges in retaining a talented workforce and identify the support workers require for a healthier work-life balance.

Sponsor opportunities

The Future of Theatre conference could not happen without the generous support from our sponsors


Showcase your brand and expertise alongside key industry figures from across the arts industry by becoming a sponsor.


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please take a look at the sponsorship packages on offer here and email for more details.


About our sponsors


Moore Kingston Smith

Moore Kingston Smith

Moore Kingston Smith are the go-to accountants and advisers for theatre, both West End and regional, and hub for Broadway producers transferring shows to the UK. The specialist team is immersed in the sector, delivering advice tailored to the unique demands of the industry.
Moore Kingston Smith are experts in theatre tax credits and have been involved right from the start, working with the industry to design a scheme that has become a vital part of the funding mix. With the team exclusively working in the sector, they fully understand the pressure points of production and can help, not only with tax credits, but also with accounts, tax structuring, payroll, furlough queries and business strategy.



Charcoalblue delivers specialist design services for performance and creative spaces. Their work ranges from theatres of historic significance through to contemporary workplaces; from permanent buildings to temporary spaces; and from the physical through to the digital world. Charcoalblue provide a full spectrum of consultancy services from strategic analysis and creative concept generation through to detailed design and full project leadership. Their services integrate world-class acoustic, technical, and digital design solutions from the outset. Collaboration is at the heart of everything they do, resulting in unique, innovative solutions that draw the best out of every space.

Marquee TV

Marquee TV

Marquee TV is the global streaming TV service for dance, opera and theatre. Based in London and New York, available around the world, it is the platform for the best of arts and culture. Curating a rich mix of dance, ballet, opera, theatre and documentaries – the world's greatest artists in their greatest performances from the contemporary and cutting-edge to the classics. Available direct from app stores and also on the best TV platforms, Marquee TV is the world's leading arts streaming service.

Described by both Dance Magazine and the Financial Times as “the new Netflix for the arts”, Marquee TV brings arts & culture to new platforms, delivers new audiences and will help the performing arts sector transition from a live only model to a live and digital future.

Arts Ed

Arts Ed

ArtsEd is a Conservatoire Drama School offering exceptional performing arts training; rigorous, triple-threat tuition in Musical Theatre (BA & Foundation Degrees) and detailed, contemporary Acting training for stage, film, television and audio (BA, Foundation & MA Degrees). ArtsEd’s Independent Day School and Sixth Form is consistently the UK’s most academically successful performing arts school, providing an exciting and dynamic environment in which to study GCSE, A-Level, and BTEC subjects. ArtsEd EXTRA provides hugely popular Weekend and Holiday courses, masterclasses, and workshops. Alumni work across the theatre and performing arts industry in the UK and overseas, and the school takes a modern, forward-thinking approach to its curriculum, vocational training, and practices.



Preevue is a leading provider of LiDAR laser scanning and 3D CAD visualisation for the theatre industry. Their services include laser scan surveying, 3D CAD modelling of existing venues and proposed new builds, and consulting with producers to visualise upcoming shows.

Preevue create and deliver architecturally and visually accurate CAD models that enable creative and production teams to work in a virtual replica of a venue, minimising time needed on-site and reducing the need for travel. Following its formation in 2016, Preevue has provided its services to clients such as ATG, LW Theatres, the National Theatre, Barbican, and the RSC, and has worked on productions including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Bat Out of Hell, and Moulin Rouge.



Substrakt is a digital agency that works in the Arts and Culture sector. They partner with cultural organisations around the world to deliver work that gives everyone simple and immediate access to inspiration, discovery and joy through cultural experiences. Substrakt design and build websites and digital products alongside providing strategic consultancy, training and support services. Their work matches elegant design with carefully considered technical solutions to create meaningful connections between cultural organisations and their audiences. Substrakt care about making a positive, sustainable and impactful difference for the sector, their clients, their team and their communities, which is shown through initiatives such as their Tech in Culture EDI Alliance and journey towards becoming a BCorp.



Theatreplan is a specialist theatre design consultancy that has been helping clients create extraordinary spaces for performance, for over 30 years. Their pioneering work around the world includes the design of new, innovative performance spaces, ranging from small, bespoke spaces like Tara Theatre in London, to international venues like Copenhagen Opera House.

They are experts in the renovation of historic theatres and are the consultants of choice some of the world’s major performance venues, undertaking complex technical upgrading projects. Theatreplan puts the client’s vision at the heart of every solution.

Bird College

Bird College

Bird College is an outstanding Musical Theatre Conservatoire in London providing first class professional vocational training that is validated by leading educational institutions. The College is committed to enabling young talented artists to identify and develop their individual set of specialised skills.

Bird College attracts a diverse and international student body and has an exceptional faculty with a unique breadth of industry experience. Students have the opportunity to work with esteemed guest directors, musical directors and choreographers.

The College has an outstanding national and international reputation with graduates who have a strong presence in West End Theatres, Broadway and beyond.

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre is a home for radical artistic ideas. In 2019 we became the world’s first Relaxed Venue in partnership with Touretteshero, dismantling some of the barriers faced by disabled people and striving to embed access and inclusivity across all our activities.

In March 2021 we introduced a universal Pay What You Can pricing model across the entire artistic programme, making our work financially accessible to everyone. We believe in the power of performance and collective imagination to spark positive change.

Find out more about Pay What You Can at



ICTheatre is at the cutting edge of creative industries training, offering diploma and degree level courses in Contemporary Musical Theatre, Acting for the 21st Century and Hip Hop Artistry, and BA (Hons) in Production Management and Entrepreneurship.

Industry connections, outstanding faculty and affordable training underpinned by mental resilience create the foundations of ICTheatre’s ethos. With campuses in Brighton and Manchester, ICTheatre’s innovative approach is making real inroads into this traditional marketplace and looking ahead to what is relevant to the performer of the 21st Century. Your future is created by what you do today!



Mountview has been training performance artists since 1945 and was the first UK institution to offer a specialist three-year musical theatre course. They train students at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as running dynamic evening, weekend and holiday short courses for all ages, and outreach programmes with schools and community groups. In September 2018 Mountview moved to purpose-built premises in the heart of Peckham, rooting themselves in one of London’s most vibrant creative communities. Alumni include Olivier Award winner Giles Terera (Hamilton), Noah Thomas (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Evening Standard Future Theatre Award winners Beth Hinton-Lever and Emily Aboud.

Concord Theatricals

Concord Theatricals

Concord Theatricals Ltd is the UK home of R&H Theatricals, Samuel French Ltd and Tams-Witmark. Our unparalleled roster includes the work of Irving Berlin, Agatha Christie, George & Ira Gershwin, Marvin Hamlisch, Lorraine Hansberry, Kander & Ebb, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harold Pinter, Cole Porter, Terrence Rattigan, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Thornton Wilder and August Wilson. We are the only firm providing truly comprehensive services to the creators and producers of plays and musicals, including theatrical licensing, music publishing, script publishing, cast recording and first-class production.

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