being a creative producer

“What exactly do you do?” Err…I’m a producer.

I’m extolling the virtues of a creative career to 120 students. I bust myths about the type of jobs in the sector. Music outfits need accountants as much as kickass singers, that sort of thing. I explain how the industry contributes £111bn to the UK economy.

“Yeah but what does a producer do?” Well…I…

Manage things. Budgets. People. Book things…and people. Pitch stuff…to people. Fundraise, write contracts, negotiate. Bit of marketing. Lots of spreadsheets. Initiate, coordinate, see the project to the end. Then do an evaluation.

“Could you give an example?”

I could give 18. One for each producer credit on my CV. Not including Senior and Exec Producer jobs. Been called other things too. No! Not those things! Cheeky. Curator, programmer, Arts Project Leader.

“And it’s the same job description for each one?”

I laugh out loud. No two jobs are the same.


  • Acid - produced/directed by Ben Dickenson
  • An example of a 4* play directed by Ben Dickenson
  • A 5* play directed by Ben Dickenson

OK, so I stole that line from the excellent Matt Runham, formerly of Curve and Northern Stage. We figure it out as we go – that was another of his.

And that’s pretty much what I’ve done. I started out wanting to make things that make a difference. To society, other writers and our funny bones. Add people, Excel, the occasional bit of tech kit and…

…touring shows, site specific plays, audio dramas, comedy podcasts, writing showcases, festivals, conferences, community arts projects, radio.

From Write Longer, to Our City Our Story, to That’s What We Call Democracy, to Twi-Lates, to Galaxy 105-106FM, to Studio 3s Tree, to 24 Hours in Isolation.

Pinch me! I’ve been lucky.

I don’t claim to be the best producer. Or to have succeeded every time. I do my best. I keep learning.

Director – Dramaturg – Literary

And then there’s writers. Maybe its because I’m one of them, but I’ve learned most from wordsmiths.

Reading scripts, feeding back, challenging, putting it on its feet. Some call it dramaturgy. I call it a bloody joy.

Starting in 2013 with my pals at Write on Tap, I kept on doing it as Literary Manager (and now Associate) at Alphabetti Theatre.

I have worked with about 45 writers a year, running courses and script workshops, commissioning shorts and developing productions like Trolley Boy (2018), The Rooms (2016), Three Shorts (2019).

I’ve also done my share of directing.

Including a host of shorts and longer plays since 1999. The homelessness themed How Did I Get To This Point? (2014) and How Did We Get To This Point? (2016), both written by the boss Ali Pritchard, are more recent examples.

  • Three Shorts, Alphabetti Theatre, made possible by Ben Dickenson
  • The Rooms 2016 - Ben Dickenson, dramaturg

I’m for hire – contact me here.