Working with Babeworld on inaugral Digital Routes programme
6th October 2021
Media release – for immediate distribution
First Executive Director and board of trustees appointed as world-renowned theatre company secures regular funding from Arts Council England.
imitating the dog (ITD) theatre company is delighted to announce the appointment of its first Executive Director and the forming of its first board of trustees, as it celebrates becoming part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio of funded arts organisations.
Julie Brown has joined the team as Executive Director, bringing years of experience as an arts administrator and freelance producer to the company. The team is delighted to welcome her back after she produced their award-winning production Nocturnes as part of the British Council showcase at Edinburgh Festival in 2017.
She will work closely with the company’s new trustees, offering strategic guidance as it embarks on an exciting period of artistic growth and experimentation. The board is Chaired by independent consultant David Dolan Martin, who has thirty years’ experience in theatre, most recently as Executive Director of Oldham Coliseum. David’s previous roles include General Manager and Acting Chief Executive of Community Arts North West and Head of Production and Premises at Manchester’s Contact Theatre.
They join Co-Artistic Directors Pete Brooks, Andrew Quick and Simon Wainwright, who have been making cutting-edge performance work together for over ten years. The new leadership team is complete by Vice-Chair Leroy Philbrook, who is Executive Director of Burnley Youth Theatre.
The appointments mark a new chapter for the company, which has built a unique reputation touring ground-breaking original work that fuses live performance with digital technology. As of April 2018, ITD has joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, securing four-year core funding, which will allow it to develop its touring circuit both nationally and internationally and explore new artistic opportunities.
Adopting a new annual model of artistic work, each year ITD will produce a mid-scale re-staging of a classic or popular title for UK theatres, alongside international touring and site-responsive work for festivals and events. The company will also deliver a year-round learning programme, annual international skills exchange, and an online exchange and learning forum.
The first projects for the new team include a radical re-imagining of Joseph Conrad’s classic novel Heart of Darkness, which will open in Ancona, Italy, before touring the UK in 2018/19. Taking Conrad’s story of brutal greed and a journey of discovery, ITD will revisit the story through a black woman’s journey into the heart of darkness which is a war-torn Europe.
Before that, the company take their award-winning production Nocturnes to international stages, starting with Hong Kong as part of the opening season launching a new venue – Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. From there they will head to Indonesia for Lintas Media Festival, a cross-media arts festival in Jakarta, to perform Nocturnes and deliver workshops.
ITD Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Simon Wainwright said: “We’re delighted to have David and Julie steering things for imitating the dog as we enter this new period as an NPO company. Both are long-time supporters and friends of the company and highly talented arts administrators. We’re sure their leadership will help drive us forwards in what promises to be a great period of creativity and development.”
Executive Director Julie Brown said: “It’s a great time to be joining imitating the dog as they become an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. The company are bursting with brilliant creative ideas and are in demand with venues and festival alike. It’s going to be an exciting time, juggling UK and international commitments, growing the company’s artistic outputs and reaching bigger audiences than ever before.”
Chair David Dolan Martin said: “I am honoured to be appointed as the Chair of imitating the dog at this extraordinarily exciting time in the company’s history. I’ve been a great fan of ITD for several years and have had the great pleasure of making original work with them on several occasions. I’m delighted to now join that team and to contribute towards setting the agenda for imitating the dog’s future activities; our new association with Arts Council England gives us the opportunity to develop both the scope and scale of our work during the next four years and beyond.”
Jane Beardsworth, Director, Arts Council England said “I’m delighted to welcome imitating the dog to our National Portfolio and to hear about the new appointments to the team. imitating the dog produces exceptional work using new technologies and I look forward to seeing how its programme develops.”
ITD’s full board of trustees comprises: Theatre consultant David Dolan Martin (Chair); Executive Director of Burnley Youth Theatre Leroy Philbrook (Vice Chair); Producer and Project Manager Kate Beard; Events & Cultural Services Manager for Preston City Council Tim Joel; Associate Professor in Scenography and Deputy Head of School at University of Leeds Dr Joslin McKinney; Editor of ArtsProfessional Frances Richens; and Artist Sumit Sarkar.
For more information contact Executive Director Julie Brown
imitating the dog has built a unique reputation creating and touring original performance in the UK, Europe and internationally. The company tests theatrical conventions through ambitious work that combines high-end design with technical and thematic innovation.
The company was founded by Simon Wainwright and Andrew Quick in 1998. Simon leads on all video design for the company. Andrew leads on writing and has directed a number of productions. Pete Brooks, who has worked with the company since 2004, leads on directing performance.
ITD productions have toured throughout the UK and internationally. Recent past productions include The Train, co-produced with and Marche Teatro, Lancaster Arts, The Castle, and The Old Market; A Farewell to Arms, co-produced with The Dukes, Lancaster; and The Zero Hour. ITD also collaborates as creative partners and designers for special projects, including concept and projection design.
imitating the dog is funded by Arts Council England and supported by LICA (Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts). www.imitatingthedog.co.uk
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
6th October 2021