Toast is a producing theatre and performance collective based in Plymouth with a commitment to producing and supporting theatre-making in the South West.
Founded by Dan Baker, Matt Hall, Tom Nicholas and Beth Shouler, members have worked collaboratively on various projects in Plymouth and the South West since 2012, utilising their combined skills and experiences to support the development of new work and to bring exciting performances and artists to the region. Toast was formed as a means to formalise recognise this collaborative working across members of the collective – and to formalise a long-term commitment to supporting a sustainable emerging theatre scene in Plymouth.
Toast are founders and producers of the Plymouth Fringe Festival, launched in 2015. Toast produced Theatre Uncut Plymouth 2014 (in partnership with the MolinoGroup), and acted as Venue Managers for the City Gate Hotel during the 2014 Exeter Ignite festival, programming work from local emerging and national touring artists.
Members of Toast have also collaborated on projects New Model Theatre’s Outpost pop-up theatre season, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s FORGE season in 2014 and Theatre Uncut Plymouth in 2012 and 2013.
Dan is a producer with experience in delivering projects, festivals and outdoor work from Fringe to large-scale, and is currently Creative Producer for Barbican Theatre Plymouth. He has delivered touring productions, outdoor work and international partnerships, including work as a Producer for the Old Vic Theatre, Bush Theatre and Greenwich + Docklands Festivals. Freelance producing work includes the Outpost pop-up theatre season with New Model Theatre 2014 & 2015), extensive touring work for the MolinoGroup - most recently their award-winning Edinburgh Fringe show Much Further Out Than You Thought (2015) - and work across the UK for Agent 160 Theatre, including presenting twelve specially-commissioned pieces by female playwrights for Fun Palaces at the Wales Millennium Centre (2014).
Matt is a director, practitioner and scientist based in Plymouth. He has worked in various areas as director, including new writing, classic revivals and large-scale devised work, including self-producing a festival of new work in the Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth. He has been scientific advisor for a number of productions for Theatre Royal Plymouth and is a Chartered member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, delivering safety training and risk assessments for a number of productions, spaces and events.
Tom is a playwright and director based in Plymouth, and is Artistic Director of New Model Theatre. He founded and leads on Outpost, New Model Theatre’s annual pop-up theatre season in Plymouth (2014 onwards) – presenting touring work and newly-commissioned pieces by local companies in a temporary pop-up theatre space Plymouth’s Royal William Yard, and supported by Barbican Theatre and Urban Splash. He produced FORGE, a festival of new work at Theatre Royal Plymouth presenting a selection of work by Plymouth artists seen at the 2014 Exeter Ignite festival, and runs BETA for New Model Theatre, a monthly scratch night taking place at Theatre Royal Plymouth, Barbican Theatre and The House at Plymouth University.
Beth is a director and writer who has directed and delivered projects for organisations including Theatre Royal Plymouth, Nottingham Playhouse and Lakeside Arts Centre. She is Co-Artistic Director of Junk Shop Theatre, for whom she directed The Beauty Manifesto for the 2011 NT Connections festival – which was subsequently selected to transfer to the Olivier Stage at the National Theatre – and Hardworking People at the Bike Shed Theatre for the 2014 Exeter Ignite Festival. She was most recently Young Company Director at the Tricycle Theatre, and was previously Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth – she has also worked in a freelance capacity with festivals including National Theatre Connections and Greenbelt.