Photo by Bettina Adela 





















The Sustained Theatre Regional Associate Producers are part of an exciting new programme that provides full-time, paid placements for four Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Associate Producers wishing to develop their producing skills and experience. 

Each producer is hosted in one of four regional venues (Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Derby Theatre, Dukes Lancaster and Mercury Colchester) and will produce one new show over the period of their associate role as well as numerous projects including sustained community engagement and artists' development, that reflect a strong ‘sense of place’. 

The four producers are:

Rafia Hussain (Derby Theatre)

Rafia has taken a non-traditional route into the arts, initially training as a science teacher before making a career change and landing her first producing role in the arts with Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival. RLIF is an annual festival which delivers literature, theatre and music events. While in role she worked on all aspects of the festival and also managed the new Generation Z thread of the programme aimed at 14 – 25 year olds; working on events and various projects such as 'Young Producers'. She produced the first ever Generation Z event in the town with the Young Producers whom she had managed and mentored. The night included acts across art forms and was the most well attended event in terms of attendance by diverse and young people. She is now Associate Producer at Derby Theatre under the Sustained Theatre project with Tamasha and looking forward the next couple of years where she will produce a show for Autumn 2018.


Dilek Latif (Mercury Colchester)

Having gained a law degree and subsequently working as a lawyer, Dilek sought a career change and secured a scholarship to drama school (Actorworks) where she trained as an actress.

After Drama School, she went on to work as a production assistant at the Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley, helping out during casting sessions, technical rehearsals and occasionally directing shorts. It was during this time where she discovered a love for producing. The Jack continued to support and nurture Dilek as she became a literary associate, reviewing scripts for the Write Now festivals and running “Scratch at the Jack” where artists of all kinds came to test work in progress and receive written feedback from the audience.

Last year Dilek started her own company, DL Productions, working as a producer and director. In August 2016 she produced The Awakening a full length, critically acclaimed play which received four Off WestEnd nominations and a contender for The Play of the Year by Broadway Baby. She also produced and directed a series of showcases focusing on the range and scope of one writer each evening. She has showcased the work of Joseph Lidster, Alan Flanagan and Penelope Faith.

Dilek is loving her time at The Mercury Theatre and is looking forward to working with them to develop her skills further.


Anna Nguyen (Dukes Lancaster)

Anna Nguyen is the founder of 'Trikhon' theatre company. She has been producing successfully funded work since 2011, among some of her main achievements have been 'A Dream from a Bombshell' (a verbatim show based on the generational experiences of the Vietnam war), 'Rice Paper Tales' (a set of modernized Vietnamese folk tales) and she recently presented 'They call us Viet Kieu' for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. She has just completed an 18 month residency with the Albany/Deptford Lounge producing some exciting new work for the area and community (find out more at Anna trained at Central School of Speech and Drama on the Collaborative and Devised Theatre course and her directorial approach was nurtured closely by Kristine Landon-Smith. As a theatre maker, Anna always aims to promote diversity, social integration and excellent collaboration. 


Lian Wilkinson (Belgrade Theatre Coventry)

After working on various roles in student theatre and taking part in shows in London, at the Edinburgh Fringe, in King's College Chapel and at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Lian's professional career started at the COMEDIA Theater in Cologne, Germany. She spent a year working in the technical and production department, assisting both in-house and touring shows. After graduation, Lian then joined English Touring Theatre as a Production Intern, where she worked on the company's 2016-17 season. She is also an independent producer, most recently co-producing the 20th Anniversary production of Stiles and Drewe's Honk! at the Union Theatre.


Read more about the Sustained Regional Associate Producer Programme (STRAPP) here >