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Join HighTide, in partnership with Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB), for this virtual symposium that brings together theatre and change-makers with inspiring creative thinkers, artists and doers.

Featuring a two-day programme of provocations, insights and debate, Inventing The Future Symposium will tackle some of the key themes of our time: anti-racism, climate change, and new opportunities created by technology and innovation.

Who Is It For?

Inventing the Future Symposium is for those that don’t want to go back to ‘normal’.

Maybe you are a theatre-maker, playwright, commissioner or producer.
Maybe you work for an organisation or are self-employed.
Maybe you are just starting out or you’ve been fighting for change in the sector for decades.

There is an opening. As theatre emerges from the pandemic, Inventing the Future helps us re-imagine our practice in a world impacted by COVID-19. We hope you will come away from the two days buzzing with insights, questions and ideas for action that inform how we build back better.

Confirmed Panels & Speakers Include:

Innovation and New Technologies

  • Chair Annette Mees, Head of Audience Labs, Royal Opera House
  • Caridad Svich, Playwright (New York)
  • Jack Lowe, Artistic Director, curious directive
  • Tim Robinson, Chief Executive, Tech East


  • Chair, Amanda Parker, Inc Arts
  • Chino Odimba, Playwright and Artistic Director, Tiata Fahodzi
  • Matilda Ibini, Playwright
  • Lian, Wilkinson, Producer, New Earth Theatre
  • Eleanor Root, Collections and Learning Curator, Ipswich Museums


  • Chair, Steve Waters, Playwright
  • Dawn King, Playwright
  • Paddy Dillon, Chair of the Theatres Trust
  • Rosie Eline, Theatre Designer
  • Vanessa Havard Williams, Global Head of Sustainability, Linklaters

Provocations from HighTide's Associate Artists and Patrons including:

  • The Queer House
  • Chris Sonnex (Artistic Director, Cardboard Citizens)
  • Nick Hytner (Artistic Director, London Theatre Company)

Closing Address by Amy Vaughan, Director of Touring and East of England, Arts Council England.

Additional speakers to be announced in the next weeks as well as sessions led by the Writers' Guild.

When / Where / How Much?

Inventing The Future Symposium will take place on Fri 22 and Sat 23 October 2021 online via virtual platform Hopin.


Tickets are £25 and include all symposium sessions as well as livestream access to readings of four new plays being presented at the New Wolsey Theatre as part of HighTide's LIVE Inventing The Future Festival on 22nd and 23rd October.

Discounted £15 tickets are available for: Freelancers, NPO organisations, Support Sector Organisations and WGGB Members.

Book your place

To book please click the above link and purchase your tickets. Once you’ve been through the booking system you’ll be sent a confirmation email which contains a link to the symposium registration page and a password.

Then you can click the link and register for the symposium. If you have any issues booking please contact us at francesca@hightide.org.uk and we’ll be happy to help.


We aim to make this event as accessible as possible. All symposium sessions will be captioned. To discuss additional access requirements please contact francesca@hightide.org.uk