•• Producers of the Future ••

Producers of the Future is our long term creative skills development programme that has been running since 2011.  During that time we have worked with more than 7,000 young people from across Dumfries & Galloway, as well as leading 87 young people through work placements on our festivals, on the stage, in the press office or leading some of our ground-breaking community performances.  The programme has been funded by the Holywood Trust and Creative Scotland.


2011 –  We launch the company and work with secondary schools to offer young people lots of way to take part in performing arts. Ten young people work with us as young actors in a performance about Calvin Harris called Red or Dead.


2012 –  Five young people came on board to take part in a major community project that would run in 24 schools throughout South Scotland.  Taking roles in Stage Management,  Acting, Producing and Community Arts.


2013 – Six performance makers take part in our performance making lab which runs in the hills of Dumfries & Galloway as part of an incubation programme ran by Bryony Kimmings (Fake it’til you make it), Rob Drummer (The Bush) & Selina Cartmell (The Gate).  Work was presented across Scotland.


2014 – Our first Associate Artist programme runs for a year , which included directing a piece of work as part of the National Theatre Connections programme.



2015 –  Seven young people became Associate Artists leading to a broad range of work in different community settings, including our Creative Schools project as well leading different parts of our work.



2016 –  We pilot the first ever Creative Modern Apprenticeship in Community Arts with Fife College and we work with 24 young people in our festival office leading every part of our business alongside industry professionals.

You can read a write up about our programme here



2017 – We developed a cross-border programme that run in Dumfries & Carlisle and offered young people paid work-based placements at festivals in January and August.



2018 –  Three Associate Producers take part in our year-long training programme, we develop the Creative Sparks commission in Carlisle, we deliver Producer Training for University of Glasgow, University of Cumbria and a growing network of emerging producers.   Graham Main works with London International Festival of Theatre and the British Council by leading the International Festival Academy for Producers in Brazil.

We then went on to produce Offski which included 28 young people from South Scotland as part of the Regional Ensemble.  The piece was produced by Jack Finlay.

Offski took place under the vaults of the Crichton Church (Dumfries.)



2019 – Five trainee producers work with us in paid roles across Administration, Producing, Queer Culture and Festival Management.We develop the third edition of Queer Haggis

2020 –  We are re-developing our project to be re-launched in 2021 with 8 paid training commissions for emerging producers, makers and creators.  We will be announcing the recruitment steps in the coming months.  If you want to find out about it – email programming@bigburnssupper.com





Here’s some of our previous producers of the future…

Jack Finlay, 24

Jack joined the organisation in 2014 through our Associate Artist programme after completing his BTECH in Performance at Carlisle University.

He worked on theatre and community arts through supporting Dumfries Youth Theatre and Dumfries Community Choir, and supported marketing and PR for Big Burns Supper Festival.

During his time with us, Jack completed a Creative Modern Apprenticeship led by Fife College during 2016 which seen him learn about the role community participating plays in Big Burns Supper by engaging the community with projects such as Burns Night Carnival and the lantern parade.

In 2017, Jack took on the role of Associate Producer focussing on delivering content and programming, as well as stage management for Le Haggis.

Jack left the organisation in 2019 to head off on a new adventure down in Liverpool, as a assisting producer with Lime Pictures who produce Hollyoaks and many other hit shows.

Allison McLellan, 26

Allison started with the organisation back in 2012, as a volunteer through Project Scotland before taking the role of administration assistant in 2013.

Since then she has worked in roles that provide administration and finance support to the executive producers on multiple projects including Big Burns Supper, Carlisle Fringe, Le Haggis and Blood Orange. She also manages our ticketing system by integrating over 300 shows per year.

Alongside working with the organisation, Allison has completed her HNC in Events Management at Edinburgh College in 2016 before heading down South, and completing her BA Honours in Management of Music Entertainment, Theatre and Events at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Since graduating in 2019, she has taken on the role of Company Manager and now manages all administration, governance and finance for the organisation.

Dillon Colthart, 22

Previously a member of Dumfries Youth Theatre, Dillon joined the Associate Artist programme back in 2014 working on project such as Big Burns Supper (including BBS Live) and Carlisle Fringe.

Through his associate artist training, he produced his own theatre piece “Burst” which premiered at Big Burns Supper 2015.

Since then he has completed his BA Honours in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education for Writing and Performance at Royal Conservatoire of Speech and Drama, and as of September 2020 is about to embark on his Masters in Screenwriting at MET Film School.

Dillon also goes by the name of Devine Tension, exploring the role of drag in rural communities, and has produced his own pieces of work such as Intervention, as well as being a featured artist in Electric Theatre Workshop produced shows such as Doonhame and Dirty (2020), Queer Haggis (2017, 2018) and Devine Tensions Gay Bingo (2020).


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