David and Sophia joined Culture+ Early Career Group in 2018 having graduated from Chichester with BA Hons Theatre. They wanted to establish a platform for local and national theatre makers and curate daring, experimental performance events to give Bournemouth a vibrant, independent theatre scene.
During their time in the Early Careers programme, David and Sophia were seeking to build connections locally with other artists, producers, and people interested in the arts. Together they have set up Pests Production, establishing an arts scene in Bournemouth for more accessible theatre and drag nights.
David and Sophia participated in The Early Careers Network Programme which compromises of business skills development, marketing and self-promotion, managing money – budgets, tax, evaluation, impact and diversity, leadership and presentation skills. Through Early Careers, they have been able to register Pests as a business and begin their first ACE bid.
David notes that the Early Careers programme has provided:
‘an idea of what Dorset has to offer me professionally as a theatre producer. It has introduced me to other collaborators and professionals within the county and given me strong ideas of how to progress my career.’
Over the past year, Pests Production have increased their networks and contacts, including other emerging producers, resulting in more gigs and bigger audiences across the South West.
Pests runs a programme of drag and theatre nights, as well as hosting work in progress nights and providing rehearsal space for local artists. They have provided paid opportunities for over forty artists in their first year of operation alone, and have programmed local, national, and international artists.
Feature image by Gina Bolt