Who we are
The Production Managers’ Forum (PMF) is a resource for anyone involved in the production or technical management of theatre or live events.
It enables members to share ideas, information and knowledge, and to connect with each other through the PMF website, social media channels, support hub, newsletters, regular forums and social events.
How we Run
The PMF is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) run for the members, by the members. The organising committee is made up of experienced Theatre and Events professionals, who give their time for free. You can see our details here. We communicate all the time using an online hub and have monthly virtual meetings. We are always happy to talk to members who would like to join the committee. Current committee vacancies can be found here but if you you have a particular skill or area of interest you think might interest us, we would be very happy to hear from you.
what we offer
Our members are sent regular Newsletters and mailings, featuring news and articles from and about the Production and Technical Management world.
We hold regular Forums, at venues throughout the UK, on subjects relevant to and suggested by our membership. Since the pandemic these have been hybrid Forums, allowing members to attend in person or online via Zoom or Facebook.
They are always followed by Socials which all Theatre and Event professionals are welcome to join.
All Forums are recorded and you can see the videos here, where they are also available as an industry resource.
During the pandemic we started holding regular online Town Halls. These continue on a regular basis and are an opportunity for an exchange of views and a catch up about current issues. Again these are recorded and can be found here.
Our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages feature our activities and news as well as postings from other users and organisations.
We run a mentoring scheme to support aspiring and early career Production Managers.
Via the website our members can view and post Job Opportunities. They can also access information on everything from legislation to training.
Finally we have a closed Facebook page, where members can ask questions and share experiences and knowledge.
The PMF was originally created by the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) and the Stage Management Association (SMA) in 2000 and is still actively promoted and supported by both organisations, and by theatre and live events companies and suppliers.
It was relaunched in its current format at the ABTT Theatre Show in 2017. You can see a video of that relaunch here. We are grateful for the seed funding provided at the time by Central School of Speech and Drama, Steeldeck, National Theatre Wales and from individuals via a crowd funding initiative. White Light helped fund our original website, and other suppliers sponsor individual forums.
Of the original committee, David Evans, Mike Ager and Ned Lay are still members.
The PMF is constantly expanding and evolving. Here are some of the key events in our story.
Peter Dean and Suzy Somerville join the committee.
- Our first Forum, Women in Production Management, sets the tone for our commitment to diversity.
Ian Taylor and Ollie Brown join the committee.
- Led by Ollie we start our Mentoring Scheme.
- We introduce a formal constitution.
- Forums on Welfare in Production and Technical Roles, and on the Edinburgh Fringe (our first out of London Forum).
Mandy Ivory-Castile, Dan Shelley and David Ripley join the committee.
- January. We hold our first Annual General Meeting at the National Theatre. At the AGM it was agreed that the PMF would become a Community Interest Company (CIC), which it now is.
- We start recruiting Associate Committee members to help with specific areas of the PMF’s work.
- February. We launch our Members Survey. This aims to ensure that we are spending our time and resources in the areas that are most important to our members. The initial finding s are published in June.
- March. Our Forum on Sustainability in Theatre and Live Events was held days before the Covid lockdown brought our industries to their knees.
- With many people not working, the committee was able to meet virtually more often than ever before and moved the PMF on rapidly.
- Ian Taylor, Production Manager and Managing Director of eStage (now OKEDIA), uses his expertise to develop our brilliant new website. OKEDIA generously sponsor the PMF by providing hosting and maintenance of the site, which has greatly improved our ability to fulfill our aim of being an important resource and support network for our members.
- July. We hold our first Town Hall. This proved so successful that they become a monthly event during lockdown, and still continue today.
- The PMF joins AAPTLE – the Alliance of Associations and Professionals in Theatre & Live Events.
- June. We hold a “Non ABTT Socially Distanced Social” online.
- October. We pass a membership milestone as we welcome our 500th registered member.
Kat Ellis, Lewis Champney, James Holdsworth and Lucy Mewis
join the committee as Student and Young Members Associates (SYMs).
Louise Gregory and Mekel Edwards join the committee.
Patrick Heydenburg becomes our US Associate.
- January. Our second AGM.
- February. Along with SIPA (Sustainability in Production Alliance) we published 10 sustainable wins for theatre Production Managers.
- Our Education Sector is founded, run by David Ripley.
- We help launch the Reset Better Charter, aimed at improving working conditions post pandemic.
- March. Our Rates of Pay project is launched.
- April. We add Instagram to our Social Media platforms.
- We launch ‘One to One’ conversations.
- August. The first not-on zoom-social for 18 months at the PLASA/ABTT show.
- October. Our first online forum ‘No Such Thing as a Stupid Question’.
- PMF Founder member and Chair, David Evans, is announced as co-chair of the ABTT.
Misha Mah and Jennifer Taillefer join the committee
- We start introducing Assistant roles to spread the workload in many areas of our work.
- January. Our first US/UK Forum, Thoughts From Both Sides of the Pond.
- At the AGM in March, David Evans stepped aside as Chair and Mandy Ivory-Castile was elected in his place. David’s work in re-founding the PMF was invaluable. He is now our first Ambassador.
- May. Our first in person Forum since the pandemic, on the subject of skills shortages. Hybrid, so that members could attend in person or on line.
- June. A Forum on Sustainability, at the ABTT Theatre Show and online.
- September. We pass another milestone as we post the 500th Production and Technical Management vacancy on our dedicated jobs page.