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| Niamh Hicks

Introducing Our New Way of Working: Part Two by Naomi Alexander, CEO and Artistic Director, Brighton People’s Theatre

From April 2023 we are launching our new way of working. This blog explores what we are going to do. It’s written by BPT’s CEO and Artistic Director, Naomi Alexander.

We are excited to announce our new way of working which is kicking off this April 2023.

BPT now has a singular purpose – to bring people together to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It sounds simple, but this drives everything we do and is in every decision we make as an organisation, big or small.

Our new way of working will Bring People Together in 3 ways:

  • 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

A green rectangle image with BPT's Vision and Mission overlayed in white circular boxes. In the centre of the image if black text are the words ' We bring people in Brighton together'.

When we talk about bringing people together, we mean all people across Greater Brighton. We want our invitation to join us to be on the table for everyone.

Yet we know there are all sorts of barriers that stop people from feeling BPT is a place for them to come and play. We can see this clearly in our membership, despite the fact that 82% of our members have never done anything like this before.

And so each year we are going to look at who is in our membership and compare this to the census data for the city. We will ask ourselves:

‘Who are we missing?’

We are going to make sure our invitation reaches people who may not know there is a theatre for them to come and share stories, play, and make ambitious work which is informed and inspired by the people of Brighton.

Not just a small subsection of the City, but all of Brighton. If we are a true theatre of the people, we must feel confident that our theatre speaks with the the stories, laughter and creative ambition of the whole of the City.

A rectangle image of BPT participants playing together. A pink filter is on top of the image. White text overlays the image and reads ' We bring people together...to play, to laugh, to create, to think, to talk, to perform, to applaud, to agree, to disagree, to empathise, to sing, to dance, to cry, to listen, to learn, to connect, to understand, to be understood, to be seen, to belong, to trust, to be part of something bigger than ourselves.'

This simple check – ‘Who are we missing?’ – will be our guide.

In preparation for our first year of making work in this new way, we compared our membership data to the current census and found that, in stark contrast to our city, where Arabic is the second most commonly spoken language, we had very few Arabic speakers or those with Sudanese heritage who regularly attend our workshops.

So this Spring we will be bringing people from these backgrounds together in conversation with the artists leading the development of our next show, Suhayla El-Bushra (Writer) and Tanushka Marah (Director).

We are delighted to have received funding for this first stage of our work from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Starting in May, with support from Brighton and Hove City Council and the Trust for Developing Communities Suhayla and Tanushka will be in conversation with Arabic speaking and Sudanese heritage people across the city.

We are extremely excited about this next stage of BPT’s creative cycle and can’t wait to see how this new way of working brings opportunities to a greater diversity of people across our City to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

In our third and final blog, we will be talking about WHY we work the way we do. About the theory behind it. The politics. And what we hope will change.

To read more about our new way of working, take a look at our new three-year business plan. Click the image below to download it. You can read our business plan in grayscale if you would prefer.