Artistic Director and Joint CEO
Clare is the Artistic Director and Joint CEO of HighTide.
She was previously the Head of New Work at the Donmar Warehouse in London, where she worked on over 30 productions, including The Trials by Dawn King; Love and Other Acts of Violence by Cordelia Lynn; Assembly by Nina Segal; Blindness adapted by Simon Stephens; [BLANK] by Alice Birch; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Berberian Sound Studio adapted by Joel Horwood; Sweat by Lynn Nottage; Silence by Sonali Bhattacharyya, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Ishy Din and Alexandra Wood; Force Majeure adapted by Tim Price; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in a new version by Bruce Norris; Limehouse by Steve Waters; The Lady from the Sea in a new version by Elinor Cook; and Becoming by Michelle Terry and Rosalie Craig.
Other writing and dramaturg credits include: Women in Power dir. Blanche McIntyre (Nuffield, Southampton); The Unknown Island dir. Ellen McDougall, Meet Your Neighbours dir. Emily Lim, Here’s How It All Began dir. Christopher Haydon, Idomeneus dir. Ellen McDougall (all for the Gate, Notting Hill); and The Last Mermaid dir. Bruce Guthrie with Charlotte Church (Wales Millennium Centre).
Clare previously worked as Executive Director of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill and, prior to that, she was the Assistant Literary Manager at the National Theatre and worked in TV and film development with Rare Day. She also sits on the Creative Council of Shakespeare’s Globe.
Emma Butler Smith
Executive Director and Joint CEO
Emma is the Executive Director & Joint CEO of HighTide.
Prior to joining HighTide, she was CEO of the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft from 2018-2023. From 2016-208, Emma was Head of Marketing at the Marina working closely with the CEO on a broad range of organisational issues.
Emma has 25 years’ experience of working in the arts & heritage sectors, working as a producer, general manager, tour booker, administrator & marketeer for companies including Fresh Glory Productions, Oxford Shakespeare Company, Menagerie Theatre, Kentwell Hall, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, John Good Holbrook & the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Hannah Dunne is the General Manager at HighTide, working closely with the Executive Team to support the delivery of the key objectives of the charity, with a particular focus on finance and the day to day operations of the company. Prior to this Hannah was Theatre Manager at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill where she led the organisation’s Sustainability and Access strategy. Hannah has also worked as Deputy Front of House Manager at the Bush Theatre.
George is HighTide’s Engagement Manager, leading on marketing & communications and supporting the company’s writer development and community work in the East of England.
Having trained at East 15 Acting School, George co-founded Above Bounds Theatre Collective – producing innovative new work for children and young audiences. For the last 10 years he has worked extensively in theatre as a writer, director, facilitator, and festival producer. He studied Playwriting at The University of Birmingham under the tutelage of Fraser Grace, and teaches Playwriting at East 15.
Prior to taking up this role, George was Marketing & Communications Manager at Marina Theatre Lowestoft.
Peggy Ramsay Foundation/ Film 4 Awards Scheme Playwright
Nicola Werenowska is an award winning neurodivergent playwright who is
committed to exploring underrepresented voices in her writing. Nicola is on placement with HighTide for one year after winning the Peggy Ramsey/Film4 Award, which celebrates and supports emerging British writing talent. Nicola was 16 when she was a runner up in the Royal Court Young People’s playwriting competition but due to the debilitating effects of her undiagnosed disability it took her another 15 years before she wrote professionally, following her life-changing dyspraxia diagnosis.
Nicola’s work has been produced widely across the UK. She has been on
attachment to Graeae Theatre, the National Theatre studio and a member of the Royal Court National Writers group. She is Associate Artist at the Mercury Theatre, High Tide Theatre and Lakeside Theatre. Recent projects include writing the libretto for The Paradis Files, a new opera, produced by Graeae, which toured nationally including performances at London’s South Bank Centre, and adapting The Secret Garden for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.
Theatre includes: The Secret Garden (Theatre Royal BSE, 2022); The Paradis Files (Graeae, 2022); Behind Doors (zoom festival short, Mercury, 2020); Late to the Party (community commission, Mercury 2019); Silence (Mercury & national tour, 2018); Guesthouse (Eastern Angles, 2018); Hidden (Oxford Playhouse, Marlowe, Mercury, 2017); Tattooed Under Your Skin (Theatre 503, 2016); Tu I Teraz (Hampstead & on tour 2012/13); CASH! (Mercury, 2013); BirthDate (Nabakov, 2012); Camulodunum (Monologue, Paines Plough’s ‘Come to Where I’m From’ tour, 2010); Hurt (Footprints, 2008); Freedoms of the Forest (Menagerie, 2008); Japanese Stories (dis:play production, Mercury, 2008 ); Peapickers (Eastern Angles, 2007); Aftermath (dis:play, Mercury 2006); Davy’s Day (Mercury, 2004).
Radio/audio includes: Look Me In The Eye (diversity training, Menagerie Theatre, 2020); Amy Dorrit (radio 4 Christmas Classic adaptation, produced by Graeae & Naked Productions, 2018).
Karen Goddard is HighTide’s Interim Producer. She lives in Suffolk and works on a freelance basis with a range of East – based artists and organisations. Previously, Karen worked full-time for Eastern Angles as Development Manager / Deputy CEO. Most recently she has produced a regional tour of Satellites (written and performed by Natalie Songer) and R&D projects with the following writers/directors: Scott Hurran, Martha Loader, Nicola Werenowska, Shamser Sinha, Nicola Pollard & Henri Merriam. She is currently working with the Mercury Theatre delivering their Playwrights/Producers/Directors Development programme.
Associate Artist of HighTide’s Climate Dramaturgy Knowledge Exchange
Sonny Nwachukwu is a published writer, director, choreographer and performer based in Peterborough. His work is multi-disciplinary spanning across writing, poetry, dance, theatre and anything that lies beyond. His work primarily focuses on the African and Caribbean Diaspora.
Sonny is a storyteller that incorporates dance and literature making his work relevant, unique, vibrant and thought-provoking. His academic background in Psychology informs much of his work and he is keen to tackle issues seen as taboo or ‘different’. Sonny received his dance training from authentic West African and dancehall teachers. He has performed with numerous Afrobeats and dancehall artists working across the UK and has performed at venues including Sadler’s Wells and the SSE Wembley stadium.
In 2019 Sonny was awarded an Unlimited and Spirit of 2012 commission, to create his first full-length work entitled Circles, A choreopoem. Other current works and projects include Triple Threat (2019) at Poplar Union, Saturn Returns (2022) for Unlimited Festival, Southbank Centre, (Re)Union (2021) as part of Browntown Abbey at Battersea Arts Centre and new work in progress, Eve and Cain (2023).