Chris Foxon

Theatre Producer

chrisfoxon

I am a freelance theatre producer and producer of the multi-award-winning Papatango Theatre Company. My work revolves around identifying, developing, and producing/publishing emerging, often debut and unrepresented, playwrights.

I have mounted shows at the Old Vic Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, Park Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and Finborough Theatre, and transferred work internationally. My recent productions have won the 2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award and been nominated for several Off West End Awards. 

I supervise MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Screen students at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and am a visiting lecturer at the University of York.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Theatre producer specialising in new writing, artist development, fundraising from trusts and foundations and Arts Council England, and participation and engagement. I have produced emerging writers in the West End and Off West End, and transferred work internationally.

Current Roles

Producer, Papatango Theatre Company, 2012 – present

Papatango is one of UK theatre’s biggest new writing and talent development companies. We run multiple industry-leading opportunities for emerging playwrights. A 2015 survey by the Arts Link found our artists and participants are 23% BAME and that 20% see theatre less than twice a year. We strive to discover and launch new and different playwriting talent.

Key responsibilities:

  • I am the producer for all Papatango productions, with sole responsibility for programming, liaising with venues, fundraising, marketing and PR, and recruiting cast and creatives. I also play an active role in developing scripts, dramaturgy, and R&D. I have produced seven full-scale shows at venues including Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and the Finborough Theatre, and booked Papatango’s first national tour.
  • I run the Papatango New Writing Prize, the UK’s only annual playwriting opportunity offering a full production, publication, and box office royalty. Entry is free and anonymous.  I have expanded it to include a £6000 commission for a follow-up play, supporting the long-term development of our discoveries, and made the unmatched commitment to give personal feedback to all entries, nurturing writers at every level. The Prize is now the UK’s biggest playwriting award, with 1053 entries in 2016 and 1036 entries in 2017 – more than any other award attracts over two years.
  • I initiated the Papatango Resident Playwright Scheme, an annual opportunity to commission new playwrights through a free open-entry application process. The Residency ran firstly with the support of a BBC Theatre Fellowship (awarded consecutively in 2013 and 2014) and then a Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme bursary. We were the first non-venue based company to receive this accolade.
  • I conceived and launched GoWrite, a brand new arm specialising in participation and engagement. It transforms our outreach from production-specific, often ad hoc activities into a sustainable, year-round playwriting programme reaching thousands of participants. GoWrite delivers free playwriting workshops culminating in performances by professional actors at state schools, regional venues without new writing opportunities, and community centres. These reached over 1000 individuals in 2016. A script developed with one new writer, Dave Florez, premiered at Hampstead Theatre in 2017.
  • As sole fundraiser I have increased the company’s income six-fold since 2012. I have secured Arts Council GFTA funding for seven consecutive grants, without a single unsuccessful application, including two large-scale grants for organisational development. I also secured the company’s first long-term grant for core funding (£210,000 from the Backstage Trust for 2017 – 2019) and have established new relationships with important trusts and foundations including the Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.
  • I run our social media platforms, more than quadrupling followings on Facebook and Twitter, and have built our mailing list from scratch, with several thousand subscribers and an impressive opening rate of over 60%.
  • I have supported writers to obtain commissions from National Theatre Scotland, the Royal Court Theatre, the RSC, the BBC, Imaginarium, Headlong, Out of Joint, the National Theatre Studio, and Hampstead Theatre. I have facilitated new productions of our plays in sixteen countries.
  • I recruit and train a team of sixteen readers to assess and provide feedback to over two thousand submissions annually.
  • I led our successful application for charitable status in 2013 and restructured the company from a three-tiered executive to a more efficient model.

Tutor, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, 2013 – present

I supervise candidates on the MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Screen course.

Visiting Lecturer, University of York, 2016 - present

I lead producing workshops at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

Freelance Producer, 2012 – present

My independent productions include:

Transatlantic Commissions, Old Vic Theatre, July 2015

The world premieres of three new plays.

Donkey Heart, Old Red Lion Theatre, May 2014; Trafalgar Studios, January 2015

The world premiere of Moses Raine’s play, directed by Nina Raine, winner of TMA, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards. Transferred to the West End.

The Keepers of Infinite Space, Park Theatre, January 2014

The world premiere by Leverhulme Associate Playwright Omar El-Khairy.

Tejas Verdes, Edinburgh Festival, August 2013

The revival of Fermin Cabal’s play to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Chilean coup.

Happy New, Trafalgar Studios, June 2013

The West End premiere of Brendan Cowell’s play, starring Lisa Dillon (Ian Charleson Award and Critics’ Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award).

The Fear of Breathing, Finborough Theatre, July 2012; Akasaka Theatre, Tokyo, November 2013

The world premiere of a verbatim play researched by a team of award-winning journalists operating in secret inside Syria. Subsequently translated and premiered in Japan.

Awards

My productions have won or been nominated for multiple awards, including:

2013 Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright Award (Dawn King for Foxfinder), winner

2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award (May Sumbwanyambe for After Independence), winner

2015 Off West End Awards for Best Play, Best Female and Best Male (Tomcat), nominated

2016 Off West End Awards for Most Promising Playwright and Best Set (Orca), nominated

Education

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, MA Creative Producing (Distinction), 2012: awarded an AHRC Scholarship.

Oxford University, MA English (First Class), 2010: awarded the 2009 Laurie Hart Prize.

Gosforth Academy, four A grades at A-Level; eight A* and three A grades at GCSE, 2007.

 


>>> Download a copy of my CV in PDF form here <<<

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