Producers' Learning Network

A free professional development initiative, generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council, and facilitated by producer and manager, Meredith Potter.

What is it?

A collaborative learning network of individuals who meet weekly for two-hour long seminars that focus on:

  • the processes involved in producing contemporary performing artworks, including marketing, budgeting, contract negotiations, rights, fundraising, and so on; and
  • managing small performing arts enterprises that do not own or operate a venue.

When and Where is it?

Our fourth rotation will run between March 20 - May 18, 2017. The days of the week and timings of the sessions rotate, giving everyone a chance to attend, and our venue changes between Youngplace Flex Studios, CSI Annex, and CSI Regent Park.

PLN Fundamentals

New for this rotation, we are providing two streams of activities. PLN Fundamentals is designed for newcomers to the group and independent artists looking to brush up on their producing skills by attending sessions presented by senior industry leaders. All of the 8 sessions in this stream have been previously presented at PLN and received great feedback from the membership. 

Click here to view the Spring 2017 PLN Fundamentals Schedule

PLN Mentoring

The PLN Mentoring stream goes back to the original objective for the group, and provides support and learning opportunities specifically for people who want to work closely with independent artists and small performing arts companies as their producer/manager to help them realize their work for audiences, onstage or elsewhere. You may have graduated from a post-secondary arts management course and are looking to get connected with artists and hone your skills; you may currently work as a producer/manager, though you never actually planned to, and would like to engage in peer-to-peer professional development; or maybe you’re looking to secure contract or freelance work as a producer and want to increase your knowledge base and network.

Whatever the case, if you’re into producing and the idea of getting better at it, we invite you to join our network – get a bigger producer-brain, meet some smart people, hook into some great art, and link up with some incredible artists.

What’s the format for PLN Mentoring?

The structure and format of this stream will largely be dictated by the needs and suggestions of the PLN participants. There will be a number of mentors who work in the non-veued performing arts sector working with this PLN group over the Spring/Summer period. There will be a major 2-day learning intensive in May 2017, the details of which will be released soon. If you are interested to learn more about this stream of activity or apply to be part of it, please contact

What does it cost to participate?

Nothing, everything at PLN is FREE. You can thank the good folk at the Toronto Arts Council.

How do I Sign up?

Click here to register - everyone is invited to attend PLN Fundamental Sessions. If you would like to register for PLN Mentoring, please email . If you are on Facebook, please join our group for up-to-date information, job opportunities and shared resources!


Meredith Potter (PLN Facilitator) graduated from the Western Australian Academy for the Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a BA (Arts Management) and has since worked with performing arts companies in Australia and Canada including the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Patch Theatre Company, the Dance Umbrella of Ontario, CORPUS and Dusk Dances. She is currently director of Meredith Potter Arts Management and provides management and producing services to Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Volcano, and Nova Dance. Meredith was the recipient of the 2014 Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Outstanding Leadership in Arts Administration.

Sarah Baumann (Marketing) is a Toronto-based theatre producer and arts manager. She co-founded Theatre Smash with Ashlie Corcoran in 2005 and directed their second mainstage production, the Canadian premiere of Swiss playwright Igor Bauersima's NORWAY.TODAY. Sarah also produced TINY DYNAMITE, THE BUS, TIJUANA CURE, A BOY CALLED NEWFOUNDLAND, and THE UGLY ONE for Theatre Smash. Following roles in both marketing and development at the National Arts Centre, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Luminato, and Soundstreams Canada, Sarah is currently the Director of Marketing of Tafelmusik.

Derrick Chua (Touring) is an award-winning theatre producer whose recent productions include Haley McGee’s award-winning Oh My Irma (International Tour - Edinburgh Fringe, Berlin & Kiel (Germany), Brighton & London (UK), Ulaanbaatar, Amsterdam, New York City), John Herbert’s Fortune and Men’s Eyes (Dancemakers), Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries (Theatre Centre), James Gangl’s Sex, Religion & Other Hang-Ups (Theatre Passe Muraille), Woody Harrelson & Frankie Hyman’s Bullet for Adolf, directed by Woody Harrelson (Hart House Theatre), Logan Medland’s Fingers and Toes: A Tap Comedy Musical (Urban Stages, New York City), Sharron Matthews Superstar: World Domination Tour 2010, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Toronto), Joe’s Pub (New York) and the Edinburgh (UK) Fringe Festival, and Hunter Foster & Rick Crom’s musical Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale (ATA, New York City). Derrick is co-founder and Core Artistic Team Member of Studio 180 Theatre whose productions include The Normal Heart, Clybourne Park, Our Class, Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook and The Laramie Project. He is the recipient of a Dora Award, a Harold Award, Now Magazine Award as Toronto’s Best Indie Producer and Canadian Actors’ Equity Association Honorary Membership for his Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts. He can be contacted at derrick [ at ] derrickchua [ dot ] com.

Mitchell Marcus (Finance and Project Management) is the founder and Artistic & Managing Director of The Musical Stage Co. (formerly Acting Up Stage Company) – Canada’s leading not-for-profit musical theatre company. Mitchell was the Associate Producer of Theatre, Dance, Film and Music for the first six years of Luminato. In this role, he produced over 100 productions while coordinating high profile local and international artists, prominent Toronto cultural institutions and city officials to bring a festival to life for over 1 million attendees each year. Mitchell has twice been the Creative Producer for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize For Nonfiction, as well as the producer of the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. He is an advisor to the Metcalf Foundation for its Creative Strategies Incubator program, a member of the Dora Eligibility Committee for the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective. Mitchell has held positions in the arts management departments at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (3 years) and Ryerson University (5 years) where he has taught project management, strategic planning, management & leadership, and the foundations of theatre management.

Tania Senewiratne (Non-Profit vs Commercial) worked for a Broadway producer in NYC for 10 years. In that capacity she worked on over 30 theatrical productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, on tour in North America, in London, on tour in the UK, in Canada, in Australia and throughout East Asia. Tania was also involved in the creation of 54 Below — a cabaret space built in the cellar of the iconic Studio 54 building in New York City. She was General Manager of Obsidian Theatre from 2014 - 2016; she is currently the General Manager for Soulpepper Theatre Company, and a professor at Ryerson Theatre School.