Get to know our Seed Commissioned artists!

In the autumn of 2020, we offered 9 seed commissions to artists from marginalised backgrounds, to support the development of innovative new theatre projects.

Those artists and companies are Amy Terry and Jessi Clayton, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Kelly Jones, Lagahoo Productions, Nouveau Riche and Cal-I Jonel, Pia and Ellie, Terri Jade Donovan, The Not-God Complex and Vicky Moran.

They’re currently working on their R&D’s, which will lead to a digital or live sharing later in 2021 (dates will be announced soon!). On this page you can get to know them better and find out what they’ve been up to.

Portrait By Lorna Fitzsimons

About Terri Jade Donovan

I’m a disabled and hard of hearing actor and writer from Manchester. Currently a Creative Associate at Jermyn Street Theatre and a 2021 graduating actor at the Lir Academy. On my time off from the theatre at the moment you’ll probably find me taking long walks and eating a lot of cake.

What inspired you to create the show you’re currently developing?

Last February I visited Bristol’s Museum and Art Gallery and came across the portrait of Princess Caraboo, painted by Edward Bird and pretty much fell in love with her there and then; and just knew I had to find out who she was, and tell her story.

How has your residency at CPT helped you?

To be working with a theatre that makes bold political work, including having seen the likes of Jackie Hagan and Powder Keg’s work at CPT in the past; it is a fantastic opportunity for an emerging artist like myself to learn from the company and hopefully push exploration on how to tell stories that incorporate access in the ever evolving landscape of British theatre.


About Cal-I Jonel

Cal-I Jonel is an actor, singer-songwriter and musician from East London. He is also a married father of two.

He followed his appetite for performing arts right through to further education before pursuing a career in teaching and middle management. Whilst working as a secondary school teacher and Head of Department, Cal-I continued to develop his creative passion through writing, directing plays and digital video productions for youth groups in his local community and independently releasing his own music.

After a 10-year career in education, he left the teaching profession in 2018 to train at Identity School of Acting and Maktub Theatre group.He made his professional and West End debut in February 2020 playing the ensemble role of Elder Ghali in The Book of Mormon at the Prince Wales Theatre.

As an emerging creative, Cal-I is passionate about telling new and interesting stories birthed from his experiences and beyond.

What inspired you to create the show you’re currently developing?

The piece originally began as a monologue which I wrote after an awkward conversation I had at work with a colleague. I had all of this ‘stuff’ I didn’t know I was carrying inside of me and then in one ten-minute sitting it all came gushing out, an entire year and a half after the experience had taken place.

The full essence of the show quasi-chronicles elements of my own personal experience as a Black British Caribbean male in education and those of colleagues I worked with in schools across London during my teaching career. As a secondary school teacher and aspiring creative, I felt constantly torn between two worlds trying to balance my teaching career with my creative desire to produce my own work. Having finally changed career in 2018 to pursue life as full-time artist, this project is a statement of my intent.

How has your residency at CPT helped you? 

In addition to developing this show further for public showcase, I look forward to building networks with fellow collaborators and using the time, space and resources to refine my creative voice and explore new and innovative ways of delivering theatre. Lastly, I’m hoping to gain greater clarity about the next steps in my journey as a writer and artist beyond this project.


About Lagahoo Productions

Lagahoo Productions is an international theatre company that we created to promote and champion Caribbean new-writing. We had humble beginnings, with our first production taking place in Trinidad & Tobago, as a queer and feminist cabaret to promote local marginalized artists. The show was the basis for our first UK production, called SPLINTERED, which premiered at the Bunker Theatre before transfering to the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 and the Vault Festival 2020. We were due to begin a national tour in 2020, including at Pride festivals, but the obvious happened. Our focus has always been to educate and decolonise through our theatre, using joyful lies and sad truths. We’re a New Diorama Emerging Company and a Soho Theatre Young Company, and hope to continue making work that provides space for Caribbean artists and stories on British stages.

What inspired you to create the show you’re currently developing?

The Haitian Revolution is perhaps one of the most significant events in recent history. It was the first successful rebellion of the enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and led to the formation of the first Black Republic. It kickstarted the road to the abolition of slavery (no reader, it was not William Wilberforce, not lawyers in London,  but was rebellion and economics that ended slavery) . The revolution is in every Caribbean secondary school’s basic syllabus, yet in the UK, it is largely unknown. We would like to change this. Through the lens of voodou, the witchcraft and the origins of modern horror, we would like to explore the history of Haiti and how the West has weaponized the world against Haiti in the physical and spiritual sense. As this is our second production, we are more ambitious than ever – attempting to create a socially distanced yet immersive piece, with all audience members connected to headphones that play binaural sound. We want to play on the fears of the West, the fear of the undead rising up to claim revenge on the past wrongs. In fact, the modern zombie as we know it today has its roots in Haitian folklore.

How has your residency at CPT helped you? 

Thanks to CPT’s help, we’re hoping to really delve into research to work out the form of the piece. Having the space and support means we can bring in skilled collaborators to push the boundaries of headphones and live theatre, giving our 1st draft script the footing it needs for future edits. We will be devising with an amazing cast of Caribbean creatives and generating material to add nuance and heart to a tragic event.