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fanSHEN and Stand and Be Counted are selected for Bridging the Gap scheme

Theatre companies fanSHEN and Stand and Be Counted have been selected to develop new plays through Bridging the Gap scheme.

They were selected by the nine venues which support the scheme, after submitting successful applications for their work to be considered.

Now in its eight year, Bridging the Gap is an initiative designed to aid the creation of new theatre work within the North East region, and now also welcomes applications from Yorkshire based artists after York Theatre Royal recently joined the scheme.

Both companies will each work with four venues from the scheme over the next few months and will receive in-kind support to develop their brand new productions, and both will be presented in the autumn.

Rachel Briscoe and Dan Barnard, fanSHEN’s lead artists, will work with ARC Stockton, The Witham, Northern Stage, Arts Centre Washington and York Theatre Royal.

Rachel commented on being selected for this year’s scheme:

“Being selected for Bridging the Gap is a really brilliant opportunity for us. It’s a chance to make a show we’re really excited about, with the support of this incredible group of venues. Elvita Adams is coming home is a project about stories and what we want to believe. It feels like the right moment to be working with these ideas. We’re thrilled to be able to continue a relationship with ARC, who’ve supported our work in the past, but also we are really looking forward to working with new venues.”

Stand and Be Counted is the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary. The team make work with, about and for people who are seeking sanctuary in the UK.

As part of the scheme they will work with ARC Stockton, Live Theatre, Gala Theatre, The Maltings and Sunderland MACQ to develop their show.

John Tomlinson, Producer for Stand and Be Counted said:

“We are delighted to be selected for this scheme. The support and advocacy from these brilliant venues is vital for us as a company to continue to make challenging new work. We can't wait to make our new piece of work in the North East over the coming months and share it with audiences in 2018."

Annabel Turpin, Chief Executive of ARC, who coordinates Bridging the Gap, said:

“Each year we receive a high standard of applications from talented companies and individuals based in the North East, and we are delighted to open this opportunity up to Yorkshire-based artists this year.

“We are excited to be working with Stand and Be Counted and fanSHEN who presented excellent ideas for their shows, both of which we feel will have important stories to tell our audiences.”

Over the years the scheme has expanded and now includes ARC Stockton, Arts Centre Washington, Gala Theatre, Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Sunderland MACQ, The Maltings in Berwick, York Theatre Royal and The Witham in Barnard Castle.