Royal & Derngate launches search for people from theatre sector and local communities to join new advisory groups

Member News

Building on Royal & Derngate’s commitment to inclusivity and access in its theatres and Filmhouse, the organisation has announced its new Here To… Listen initiative and the appointment of Emma Ling in the newly created role of Community and Inclusion Producer.

The scheme will bring together members of the local community to sit on a People’s Panel
and professionals from across the sector to form a Creative Council.
Both bodies will play a key advisory role, helping steer the future direction of Royal & Derngate over the coming years.

Chief Executive Jo Gordon and Artistic Director James Dacre said “These past two years have reminded us that the most powerful advocates for the value of a regional theatre are its artists and audiences. Without their support we simply couldn’t have weathered the storm of the pandemic. As we continue to imagine our future, we’re excited to do so alongside members of our communities and our wider professional family of creatives and practitioners.”

For the People’s Panel the theatre is looking for a diverse range of local community members from across the region to drive change and bring new ideas and initiatives to Royal & Derngate. The venue will be inviting anyone who is interested in getting more involved with the planning and day to day activities of the theatre to apply to be part of the group.

The panel will be drawn from across those already familiar to the venue as well as those who don’t currently engage with their work, to represent the town and county, and Royal & Derngate particularly hopes to include people from communities that may not have engaged with theatre in the past, including young people (aged 16 to 25), people with disabilities, neuro-divergent people, people from varied cultural backgrounds and languages and from the LGBTQ+ community. All members of the People’s Panel will be remunerated for their time.

Royal & Derngate aims to bring together professional artists and practitioners from across both the local and national theatre sector to form the Creative Council, to give a strategic voice both to those who currently engage with, and those who would like to engage with, the theatre, strengthening existing relationships and developing new ones. The scheme aims to foster meaningful conversations that can feed into the earliest stages of the planning process and to provide a degree of operational, artistic and programming scrutiny. All members of the Creative Council will be paid for their time and invited to develop their own initiatives beyond the work of the Council.

Royal & Derngate’s newly appointed Community and Inclusion Producer Emma Ling will be supporting the work of both groups. Emma commented: “We are really excited to be launching our People’s Panel and Creative Council, both of which will be central to the new Community & Inclusion work that we are undertaking at Royal & Derngate. Over the coming months we want to reach out to a wide range of people to highlight the opportunity to get involved, to build on the relationships we already have across the sector and with our many community groups. If you are keen to have a say in how your theatre is run we would love to hear from you.”

The recruitment process will start in April, with open sessions being held for anyone who would like to find out more. The deadline for applying will be 15 July, and both panels will start to meet from the Autumn onwards. More information about the roles and the application process can be found on the theatre’s website at or by emailing