Co-creating across borders: A tale of two cities

Partners: Brighton People's Theatre CIO (Brighton, England) and English Theatre Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany)

Image © English Theatre Leipzig

We are absolutely delighted to have been picked as part of the Cultural Bridge programme. This funding will allow BPT and ETL to foster a meaningful creative working relationship, collaborate internationally and develop hybrid theatre approaches based on the other's work. We share underlying community-focused and participatory values, but use different methods to create and deliver theatre workshops as part of our socially engaged practice. During this year, we look forward to sharing and learning from these differing approaches, expanding the scope of both organisations and creating a greater appreciation of what is possible, both artistically and organisationally through collaboration.”

Brighton People's Theatre and English Theatre Leipzig

About the partners

Brighton People’s Theatre

We bring people in Brighton together.
By people we mean everyone, but particularly people who have had the fewest opportunities to access culture and creativity.
By Brighton we mean anyone with a BN postcode.
By together we mean a strong, equitable community in which everyone can express themselves creatively.

We bring people together:
In a conversation; we learn what’s important to people in Brighton by listening to their stories. In a workshop; we provide space and training for people to explore these stories and realise their creative aspirations. In a show; we make ambitious work in which performers and audiences feel connected to something bigger than themselves.

Theatre should bring people together but analysis of the Arts Council’s own Taking Part data shows that public subsidy of the arts reinforces and recreates social division. Our research led by communities in Brighton shows that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often feel excluded from publicly subsidised arts. Research led by the Warwick Commission shows the most wealthy, least ethnically diverse and most well educated 8% of the population who are the main consumers of publicly subsidised arts.

We think this is a social justice issue and we want to change it.

English Theatre Leipzig was founded in 2013 at Neues Schauspiel Leipzig. Bringing together a group of both amateur and professional actors and directors, it became an official non-profit association (e.V.) in 2016 and has since offered a platform for cultural and artistic exchange to the English speaking and learning community, involving international theatre enthusiasts from the most diverse backgrounds. Establishing connections between performers and audiences, language learners and natives, stage and communities is what we strongly believe in and passionately work towards. Every year we present three productions at our home theatre Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, spanning from classical repertoire to the work of contemporary playwrights – and we are always thrilled to give original scripts a stage. Currently, we are developing further community outreach programs in partnership with local institutions, looking to engage the community in social and environmental issues through creative expression and theatre. 

Image © Brighton People's Theatre, photographer Rosie Powell