Dr Kate Craddock

Founder and Festival Director, GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre

Dr Kate Craddock is Founder and Festival Director of GIFT: Gateshead International Festival of Theatre, an annual artist-led festival celebrating contemporary theatre.  Kate established GIFT in 2011 to provide a platform for international, contemporary, and experimental performance practices in North East England.  Kate works closely with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Gateshead Council to deliver GIFT in Gateshead each year. GIFT was one of the first festivals globally to pivot online in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. www.giftfestival.co.uk  Since then, Kate has spoken on numerous international panels and conferences about her experience of moving a festival online and consulted with other festivals and artists about pivoting their work for online contexts. GIFT 2020 was awarded the Journal Culture Award for Best Event 2020 – 2021. Kate recently published a chapter called ‘Curating Community and Connection in a Crisis’ about her experience of transitioning GIFT online as part of a book called Performance in a Pandemic (Routledge, 2021). 

As a theatre maker, Kate has presented her own devised performance work at a range of organisations across the UK and in multiple international festival contexts to critical acclaim.  Kate was recipient of the Theatre Fellowship with the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme 2018/19, and undertook a secondment with HOME, a major arts venue in Manchester. Kate was part of the British Council and Arts Council GENERATE programme (2019/2020) and is currently working alongside national consortium partners at Battersea Arts Centre, Dance4, Fierce Festival, MAYK and Transform to deliver the new Arts Council commissioned England’s Performing Arts International Showcase for Edinburgh’s Festivals. www.horizonshowcase.uk

Kate has combined working across academic roles and creative projects since 2005 and is currently a Research Associate in the School of English at Newcastle University. In this role, Kate is co-authoring a book with colleague Helen Freshwater about audiences, which is due for publication in 2023. Prior to this, Kate was a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University (2011 – 2019) where she led on the industry focused MA Theatre and Performance programme. Kate completed her practice led PhD in 2010 with the title: ‘Collaboration in Performance Practice: Trust, Longevity and Challenging Proximity’ which focused on the potential for using readily available online technologies in creative collaborations. Kate is a Trustee for ARC, Stockton Arts Centre and The Paper Birds Theatre Company.