New Project Group – NPG
The New Project Group (NPG) is a laboratory for performing artists to work internationally while retaining their individual identities. The focus is on making art, particularly the creative process, rather than the end result, by creating intercultural dialogue and emphasizing cultural diversity. Projects developed are intergenerational with a particular focus on the development and support of young practitioners through the creative process.
Emilya Cachapero, USA, Spokesperson, emilya(at)tcg.org
Elena Agathokleous, Cyprus
Ellen Alvares, Netherlands
Bernard Baumgartner, Luxembourg
Gunther Beelitz, Germany
Kevin Bitterman, USA
Frank Duewel, Germany
Liz Engelman, USA
Anne-Marieke Hess, Luxembourg
Pau Palacios, Spain
Serge Tonnar, Luxembourg
From the ITI World Congress in Korea to the most current 2011 Congress in Xiamen, the New Project Group (NPG) has been a vital force within ITI dedicated to developing and supporting the work of young professionals through the creative process. This focus is closely aligned with ITI’s overall interest in identifying and nurturing the next generation of internationalists.
From September through December 2008, NPG developed an initial project originally created for the possible Congress in Dhaka, Speed of Life, and circulated the Call for Participation and Starting Point during the Joint Committee meeting in Paris, March 2009. However, the Congress venue was still pending and changed several times since 2008. During the NPG meeting in Luxembourg in September 2010, the Working Group reviewed the theme and felt it was no longer relevant. The Working Group then developed a new theme to reflect current societal challenges, House-Home, identified the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre as the local partner and began the preparations for the Xiamen Congress.
During the 2011 Congress, NPG, represented by Gunther Beelitz and Emilya Cachapero, held two meetings with different groups of delegates interested in learning about the group’s work and in potentially participating in the next project. In addition, a third session focused on the House-Home creative process and included the showing of a rehearsal video. NPG decisions are made through a group process – there are no elected officers or hierarchy and all interested in participating are included. Those new to NPG who attended the three sessions will be invited to future NPG planning meetings which will be held via SKYPE. In addition, approximately two to three in-person meetings will be scheduled between now and the 2013 Congress.
Unlike the other committees, the sole focus of NPG’s work is on the development and creation of a project taking place in the host country for the Congress. Building on the success of its earlier projects, the NPG plans to develop a multinational collaboration similar to House-Home for the 2013 Congress in Havana. The theme for the new project will be identified in collaborative brainstorming sessions to begin shortly after the current Congress ends.
The structure of the new project will be similar to House-Home with an intercultural, multi-disciplinary company of up to 25 people (Artistic Team, Producing Team and Participating Artists) that primarily focuses on the development process and answers creative questions jointly in an ensemble setting. The Working Group composed of artists and producers is the body primarily responsible for overall decisions that include identifying the project theme and selecting participating artists. The Artistic Team will be composed of directors and dramaturges who will work directly with the Participating Artists from a range of disciplines to explore the theme and share creative approaches. The Producing Team will be responsible for production areas supporting the artists’ work. The entire company will arrive 10 days prior to the Congress for training and a developmental workshop. The new project will be shared with Congress delegates and local audiences a minimum of three times during the Congress.
Additionally, during the Congress, the NPG will offer a case-study session for all Congress participants to share the project’s creative process. As a way of connecting with local artists, rehearsals will be open to the local community of students and emerging theatre practitioners in the host city. Workshops led by participating artists will also be offered free of charge to the local artistic community.
Similar to the last three NPG projects, the 10-day workshop, performances and interactions with local artists will be video documented, and subsequently DVDs will be distributed to ITI Centres and posted on the ITI website.
As part of its post-production work, the NPG will thoroughly evaluate the creative process and structure of House-Home, and improve what was done earlier. NPG will hold a post-production evaluation at the end of the Xiamen Congress and revise the process for future projects as needed.
Through its projects, NPG continues its commitment to providing professional development opportunities for exceptionally talented young artists. NPG strongly believes that support of the next project will help to forge a strong and long-lasting bond between ITI and the future artistic leaders of our field. NPG hopes that ITI and the World Congress Organizers recognize the track record of success and contributions made over the last five productions, and that they will look favourably on the next project.