new internationalists offers four companies/theatre-makers a year of support, guidance and seed investment designed to help them internationalise their practice. The artists selected for new internationalists are Dante or Die, Milk Presents, Stand and Be Counted (SBC) and Lost Dog. We caught up with Stand and Be Counted (SBC) to find out about their experience so far.
Q1. What made you apply for new internationalists?
As a company, we have worked with many international artists and companies – but have not made or toured our work beyond the UK. We know this is a great time to do it, having established ourselves as a company who can deliver a range of projects; national tours, large-scale outdoor performances with non-English speaking communities, employability and educational work with asylum seekers and refugees, site-specific festival productions with students and durational performances. We were part of this year’s caravan at Brighton Festival, supported by Farnham Maltings – so to continue that relationship to support our work and models of working is really exciting.
Q2. What was your reaction when finding out you had been selected?
We were super chuffed. It came just as we were about to launch our latest tour, ‘Where We Began,’ ahead of a 23-date tour – involving an international cast and a show about global warming and global politics, perfect! It felt like a really significant moment as we look to realise some of our big ambitions.
Q3. SBC alongside the other three companies selected for new internationalists (Lost Dog, Milk Presents and Dante or Die) you attended a retreat day at Farnham Maltings. What was the most useful thing you took from the 2 days?
It was so, so insightful. We are in great company on this programme – all the other companies are leading the way in their own fields, so it was brilliant to learn and share with them. This network of companies is really important, as we try and reach the next step of our development. I have to say as well that Gary Hills, the mentor on the programme, is wonderful. We have learnt so much already from him and the Farnham Maltings team, who have been so supportive and generous.
Q4. What are you looking to gain from the programme as a whole?
We’re definitely keen to establish what our offer to international promoters should be. Working alongside Farnham Maltings and our mentor will enable us to spend dedicated time on how we make strategic plans. It’s also an amazing opportunity to work on our digital platforms and ensure our work and style comes across the way we want it to.
Q5. Why do SBC want to make/perform work internationally?
Hannah, Rosie and I have all worked on international projects individually, which have really influenced our work and creative processes. As a Theatre Company of Sanctuary, we would very much like to share our unique model of practice, alongside the work itself, with artists in other countries. Taking work internationally is an ambition we’ve had for some time and we’re sure that now, with the support of this programme, is the time to make that happen!