Associate Artists

An illustration of an artist standing atop a house of cards to finish a painting

Every year we choose up to six artists from across a variety of disciplines to join our Associate Artists scheme.

We work with our associate artists to develop a bespoke package of support. This could include training, mentoring, access to rehearsal space, advice sessions, and opportunities to perform or share their work with our audiences.

Our 2024 Associate ArtistS


Having grown up in Devon and moved back in recent years, Eliza has thrown herself into Exeter Phoenix’s scratch nights and also presented a more developed work in progress piece Before Helping Others earlier this year. Eliza responded to the news by saying:

“Having written for many years without anything (other than jokes) hitting the stage, last year I brought 20 minutes of a new piece of writing to the Scratch Night at Exeter Phoenix, which in turn meant that in January, I performed a work-in-progress of my first full theatre piece. The response was lovely, especially for someone with next to no confidence in their writing ability- the most surprising response being that I was asked to become an associate artist!

Over the course of the year, I’m hoping to develop the piece with a view to it being taken to a couple of festivals and regional venues.

I’m also looking forward to building my relationship with the Phoenix, as well as other artists and creatives. Having moved back to Devon from Bristol during the pandemic, it’s been great to see how the arts scene has changed and developed since I grew up here”

Our 2023 Associate ArtistS


Lizzy Humber has worked as an actor and producer for over 15 years. Since becoming a mother she realised that evening gigs and theatre trips were now few and far in between, and the only groups she could attend were aimed at children.  “I dreamed of art classes I could bring my children to, or watching comedy with the baby in the sling. I craved creative conversation and community that didn’t focus only on tantrums, teething and toileting. And I longed to have supportive working practices that didn’t require me to work like I didn’t have children.”

Since 2018 Lizzy has been holding spaces for creative m/others to meet, attend workshops and amplify their voices on the mic. She is a passionate champion of people sustaining their confidence and connection to their creative identity alongside parenthood. “I am determined that children should not be perceived as barriers to accessing arts and culture. Instead, I believe happy parents equals happy children, and that sharing the arts we love with our children allows them to see us as whole people and feel included in a variety of art and culture from a young age.

Keep an eye out for Lizzy’s events in our programme, including M/others on the Mic and Daylight Collective workshops.

Visit Lizzy's website >>

Charice Bhardwaj | Associate Artist

Photgraph of theatre maker Charice Bhardwaj

Charice Bhardwaj is an emerging theatre maker, performer and poet based in Exeter. She graduated from the University of Exeter in Drama in 2019, where she discovered an appetite for smashing the daily with the anarchic, and devising work which is playfully political. Charice recently began her MA in Theatre Practice there and she is doing practice-led, interdisciplinary research into spirituality, South Asian performance traditions, physical theatre and comedy.

Charice has had the pleasure of collaborating with Quirk Theatre, Dreadnought South West, community arts group Cafe Theatre Company, and spoken-word platform Spork! which she regularly hosts.

Charice is committed to nurturing the arts in the South West, and she hopes to continue supporting under-represented communities there. She is thrilled to be supported by the Exeter Phoenix as Associate Artist and she looks forward to connecting with more artists in the city.

Our 2022 Associate ArtistS


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Charlotte is a rising star of the stand-up comedy world. She likes reality TV and finds politics boring - which can be tricky when your family is practically the UK's answer to the Kennedys!!!!!

In her debut show, Charlotte avoids talking about family politics in favour of rewriting her own story - pausing only briefly to explain why she's the Kim of her siblings...she's unsure of who would be Khloe or Kourt as she hasn't met all 6 or 7 or 8 (?) of them yet.

Originally commissioned as an audio mockumentary as part of the BBC New Creatives Scheme, My Dad and Other Lies has been developed with support from the Northcott Theatre, Exeter Phoenix and Pleasance Futures.

Our 2021 Associate Artists


Cine Sister South West are a network of womxn involved in making film, video and moving image works in SW UK (Devon and Cornwall). Through ACE funding they are developing a network in partnership with established cultural organisations that provides inspiration, supports our members to create projects on a range of platforms, and offers small funded opportunities for womxn film makers in our region.

‘Cine Sisters SW are very excited by our partnership with Exeter Phoenix! Access to the physical spaces, especially the cinema, plus access to the expertise and support of the staff mean we can genuinely offer an ambitious programme and really reach out to womxn across the region working in film. Thank you Exeter Phoenix!’

Our 2020 Associate Artists

This year we welcomed three threatre makers to the scheme, including our first Artist In Residence.

'We’re incredibly excited to welcome a new cohort of Associate Artists at Exeter Phoenix this year, including the addition of a new Artist in Residence scheme. We will be trialling this with Lucy over the next three years, so they can forge new links with key practitioners in our creative community and develop their creative practice in depth.

This longer term residency is also designed to aid Lucy in their development and growth of Documental Theatre Company, through providing peer support, mentoring and stability, whilst also providing plenty opportunity to workshop news ideas and showcase this to our audience members.'

Naomi Turner, Live Programme Coordinator

Lucy Bell | Artist In Residence

Lucy Bell is a Devon-based playwright and theatre maker. She is interested in using humour to dramatise the struggles of life’s caretakers, from parents in recovery (SCORE) and teenage dads (PULLING OUT) to special needs families (LAMINATED).

She co-founded Documental Theatre in 2014 and Lucy/Documental Theatre have won the Ronald Duncan Playwriting Award and Toast of Plymouth Fringe Award, touring work to prisons and universities as well as Battersea Arts Centre and the Southbank Centre.

Lucy is an alumna of Soho Theatre Writers Lab, an attached writer at Bristol Old Vic through the 2018/19 Open Session and has written and/or directed for Theatre West, Villages in Action, Part Exchange Co and Theatre Royal Plymouth. Documental Theatre will be supported by the Northcott Futures Producer Programme in 2020.

Kay Crook | Associate Artist

Dance artist, Kay Crook, formed Chhaya Collective in 2013 as a platform for cross-cultural performance projects between South West England and Southern India. Chhaya creates and tours work in the UK and internationally, previously collaborating with artists in Germany, Portugal, North Cyprus and India. Chhaya’s biggest cross-continent collaborative project allowed thirty dance artists in Devon and Bangalore to create, teach and perform together through live streaming technology, in partnership with Shoonya (India) and Exeter Phoenix (UK).

Chhaya Collective's Chhaya Youth Dance Company was established in 2015 and supported by Dance in Devon and Exeter Phoenix. Chhaya Youth is a contemporary dance company for young dancers aged 13-21 years, with weekly training sessions at Exeter Phoenix, professional development opportunities, workshops and performances.


After being Associate Artists for a year, associates join our cohort of Core Associate Artists.

As their practice develops we maintain strong relationships with our associates, continuing to provide ongoing support, advice and opportunities to promote and further their artistic output.