Seeking a Production Manager for our Wild, Wonderful, Inclusive, Outdoor Playspace

Spectra Seeks Production Manager for Abundance

Spectra is looking for a Production Manager to help us realise our vision for Abundance, a natural, all ages, inclusive playspace on the site of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. Through this project, we will be working with the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six-month celebration of creativity across the region and part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

In Abundance, Spectra, partners, and a diverse mix of local communities will co-create an interactive, multi-sensory playspace through which people can reconnect with all that nature offers. Audiences will step inside a world rich in colour, flavour, scent, texture, and the invitation for children and adults alike to move, create, grow and play. Far from a traditional playground, this open provocation with myriad access points will encourage creative engagement. Participants will find their own way through a rich sensorial experience: sound making with natural elements; walls of herbs to smell and taste; a barefoot walk to encourage a slower pace and alertness; hidden nooks and expansive arenas to spark wild imagination. 

We are looking for someone with experience managing the production of outdoor events in unusual locations that include substantial building work and, ideally, planting too. Someone who is incredibly well organised, has a great sense of humour, copes happily with competing demands, and takes initiative thoughtfully. Working at Spectra is fun and intense: you can expect a supportive, individual-focussed, laughter-filled and industrious environment. 

I am Me. We are Kindred., MAC Birmingham, 2018, Photo by Kate Green / [Alt Text: a group of people stood outdoors in a stone amphitheatre simultaneously crunch sticks of cucumber and green peppers. They are either dressed entirely in green or have large green triangle collars on top of their clothes. One person has a ukulele. A large strand of green bunting crosses the scene.]

The team working on the project includes five Play Architects (a neurodiverse group who will also perform at the opening and closing of the site), a Lead Designer, an Artist-Grower, two Artist-Builder-Makers, two Builders, a Producer and a Creative Director. Our Production Manager will work closely with our Creative Director, Abundance’s Producer and our Lead Designer to help us realise our vision for Abundance by undertaking the following tasks:

  • Liaise with the designers, site managers, builders, and other necessary people to create a clear schedule of works; communicate this schedule clearly; coordinate the fulfilment of the activity outlined in that schedule
  • Manage, distribute and keep clear records of the materials budget and purchases for our team of four designers (the Lead Designer, Artist-Grower, and two Artist-Builder-Makers)
  • Coordinate purchases and the receipt of deliveries; this work will involve substantial work on the procurement front – Abundance is rooted in sustainable ideals and we are aiming for our materials to be reclaimed or sourced sustainably
  • Manage access and infrastructure at the site
  • Coordinate the get in, all building works, and the get out. As well as procuring materials sustainably, we aim to dismantle the installation sustainably too, so materials will need to be re-homed or recycled (please note this will include plants as well as artistic building materials)
  • Communicate clear and efficient updates to the Producer and Creative Director, highlighting any potential challenges and employing strong problem solving skills to offer creative solutions that are responsive to the aims of the project
  • Keep a clear and updated inventory of all materials
  • Manage builders and volunteers, potentially to include recruitment
  • Support Producer’s work on risk assessment (potentially to include structural engineer input)
  • Support the development of the Opening and Closing Ceremony performances through careful scheduling and allocation of space; responsibility for equipment (eg a PA)
  • Develop and maintain a warm and supportive atmosphere for all those involved in the building and installation aspects of our collaboration 
  • Support our environmental, inclusive and anti-racist aims
  • Contribute to evaluation as necessary.

The following timeline outlines project structure; The Production Manager will not be required to attend all the sessions outlined below.

DateActivity
Tue 15 MarInitial Meeting
Mon 21 March – Wed 23 Residency with Wild Rumpus at The Whirligig to explore nature, play, and sustainable installation building
Mon 28 March Planning community co-creation workshops, session with Spectra’s Sensory Designer, Kaye Winwood
Tue 29 March Planning community co-creation workshops
April 2022Co-creation workshops led by teams of 2 artists focussing on design (teams to be agreed based on interest and availability)
Tue 3 May Incorporating feedback from co-creation workshops and agreeing design, session with Spectra’s Sensory Designer, Kaye Winwood
Wed 4 MayIncorporating feedback from co-creation workshops and agreeing design
By Fri 13 May Designs finalised
6 – 24 JuneBuilding installation 
6-24 JuneCo-creation sessions delivered by teams of 2 artists to create aspects of installation (teams to be agreed based on interest and availability)
Sat 25 JuneOpening Ceremony
Sat 3 SepClosing Ceremony
Mon 12 SepEvaluation
[Alt Text: the schedule laid out in a table format. If another format would be more suitable for you, please get in touch.]

It may be useful to refer to our growing mood board for this work, which can be found at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/deardrclaw/abundance/.

I am Me. We are Kindred., MAC Birmingham, 2018, Photo by Kate Green / [Alt Text: a grinning man in a wheelchair leads other audience members into an unusual space bounded by a blue string curtain. The audience members where blue square collars over their clothes. Two performers dressed in blue hold back the curtain so that the audience can pass through. The whole scene is bathed in blue light.]

Our company is neurodiverse and we are dedicated to using our work to cultivate a world that celebrates difference in all its wonderful forms. Our creative process and the work we create are actively inclusive. We take the same approach to curating the pool of freelancers we work with, seeking to shift imbalanced representation within our sector by warmly welcoming and prioritising applications from Black and Brown practitioners and those who identify as working class, D/deaf, Disabled and or LGBTQI+.

Application process: please tell us why the work interests you and how your experience relates specifically to the list of tasks above by sending your expression of interest to kate@wearespectra.co.uk. This should be no more than two sides of A4 or a 4 minute video/audio recording. If you have access requirements, please get in touch to talk about how we can support you in making your application. 

When you submit your expression of interest, please also complete the equal opportunities monitoring form here: https://forms.gle/RBDn4KwuvCNzxEeq9. This form and your personal information will be kept separate from your application when it is reviewed by the panel.

Deadline 12pm, Monday 24 January 2022

Interviews will be held on Friday 28 January. We will send you the interview questions in advance.

Timeline Contract from Feb/Mar – Sep 2022 

Fee: £4,550 inclusive of travel and expenses. This is based on a rate of £175/day for 26 days.

Location: Abundance will be built on the site of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, B66 2RT. Meetings will take place in Sandwell and Birmingham; the residency will be held on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border; preparatory work will be done remotely.

Insta: @spectraartscompany

Facebook: @SpectraArtsCompany

Twitter: @Spectra_Arts

YouTube Channel: Spectra Arts

Background Information on Spectra

Spectra creates fierce and joyful creative interaction through authentic collaboration. We seek to cultivate a world that celebrates brains that work in different ways. Our neurodiverse company produces interactive adventures that engage all of our audience’s senses. We’ve developed a reputation for aesthetically-driven work that is both gentle and fierce, inviting our audiences to imagine intensely positive possibilities: ‘It made me laugh and cry. It was delicious in every way. Renewed my faith in the world!’ (Audience).