Tobi Kyeremateng is a twentysomething-year-old disrupting the theatre industry one ticket at a time. Tobi is a producer at Apples and Snakes, which is a poetry organisation at the Bush Theatre. Alongside this, Tobi also runs the amazing Black Ticket Project (BTP), which gives black people, particularly young black people, the opportunity to experience the theatre for free.
Tobi successfully raised £3,755 to launch BTP. With such a strong supportive community behind her and a drive to make a change, Black Ballad had to find out what Tobi Kyeremateng’s story is.
BB: Can you let us know how you ended up as a producer in two organisations?
TK: I used to work at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC). I did my apprenticeship there when I was 18 and ended up getting a job there as a Junior Producer, which I did for three and a bit years. BAC does a lot of devised theatre, it worked with poets historically as well, so through that I got to explore more of my interest in poetry, by meeting lots of poets and getting to put on my own events. After three years, I left to go and work at Apples and Snakes part-time. At the same time, I started a project with the Old Vic Theatre, called the Old Vic 12, which is a development program for 12 artists. So I did that for a year and after that year was up, I saw this program at the Bush Theatre called UpNext, which is all about artistic leadership, specifically for artists of colour in positions of leadership because it is just dire in the UK. Less than 1% of all Artistic Directors in the UK are people of colour, so that is eight people or something like that. This program is looking at that statistic, and how to change it in the future, how to make this a part of venue succession plans. So I started that last June (2017) and it finishes around March next year.