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New Voices, New Projects - Arts Arena and Bilingual Acting Workshop

Medousa-riverside-300x225 Text: Chris Holt
Photo: Jovita Valaityte and Claire Shovelton

For every successful artist in Paris, countless others are waiting for the opportunity to present their ideas to a wider audience. To help  cultivate some of this emerging talent, The Arts Arena and the Bilingual Acting Workshop are collaborating on New Voices, New Projects. This programme provides a Paris-based platform for artists to present new projects to experts in the industry and the broader international community. Each month, artists perform a new work-in-progress in an atelier-style setting, followed by a critical discussion. The first event, on October 2, 2009, was a miniature opera called Medousa, by the Vocal Motions Elastic Theatre. The show had just premiered in London and received a four-star rating from the Times.

The first performance finally took place after a year of planning and discussion between Margery Arent Safir, Director of The Arts Arena, and Amy Werba, founder of the Bilingual Acting Workshop, which had already started a similar programme in New York. According to Chris Mack who teaches at the Bilingual Acting Workshop, “It gives artists a chance to test out segments of their new projects in front of a live audience and then get direct feedback about these projects. This opportunity provides a freedom for development rarely provided to the artists in any community.”

The selection of works such as Medousa is a joint process, but each organization brings different strength to the collaboration: While the Bilingual Acting Workshop focuses exclusively on the performing arts, the Arts Arena is a non-profit, interdisciplinary initiative that explores the creative and performing arts, as well as their relationship with worlds of business, finance, diplomacy and development. As a result, they both have different networks and audiences from which to find potential candidates and have begun to receive a range of submissions from from all over Europe and North America.

To be a part of this compelling new programme as either an artist or audience member, please visit their website for more information.

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