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SJ Watkinson


I’m an independent theatre producer based in Birmingham. In 2014, I set up my own company, Outer Circle Arts through which I manage my work with companies and artists here in the UK and in Spain. I'm currently working with Sleepwalk CollectivePaul O’Donnell Altered Skin and Little Soldier.

I grew up Ilkeston in Derbyshire and studied Theatre Design at Birmingham Polytechnic, now Birmingham City University. I worked as a freelance designer and workshop leader for several years, mainly in community and education settings, before moving into work as a producer and arts manager.

I’m on the board of the Independent Theatre Council, the management association for the independent theatre sector.

When I’m not working, you’re likely to find me in my garden with my chickens, tending my allotment or out and about on my bike or climbing the hills and mountains of Wales and Spain.

Some other companies I've worked with:

Atresbandes - experiemental theatre company from Barcelona 

China Plate Theatre, General Manager – an independent producing company working with artists, venues, festivals and funders to develop, make and present engaging, adventurous and accessible new work.

The Play House theatre in education, General Manager – one of the best known and longest running TiE companies in the UK. Based at Birmingham Rep, the company’s unique approach has meaningful participation at the heart of everything it does.

Worcestershire Arts Partnership – Development Manager for cross sector partnership seeking to expand and extend the arts offer for artists, participants and audiences.

Creative Black Country – one of a team of arts co-ordinators working with community groups across the Black Country as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places initiative.

Theatre Writing Partnership – consultancy and business planning

Women & Theatre – Fundraiser, Project Manager and General Manager maternity leave cover

Sandwell Arts Festival – Producer for family focused summer festival in 2012

Sampad South Asian Arts – Programme Manager