British Council: Arts USA Bulletin

June 2014 

Upcoming British Council Events

Showcasing Art Form Innovation

Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival

June 5-8 and 12-15:  Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago

We are pleased to support three highly influential British artists who will represent the UK in the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art FestivalAlistair McLennonKira O'Reilly (last seen in NYC in The Life and Death of Marina Abramović) and Manuel Vason.

Vocamotive Choir- "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" 

June 21: New York City

As part of River to River Festival and Make Music New York, British composerPete Wyer creates a synchronized (via mobile app), join-in choral convergence in the streets of Lower Manhattan based on the Dylan Thomas poem, "And Death Shall Have No Dominion." Hear more about it Friday May 30thon WNYC's Soundcheck with John Schaefer.  Learn More

 Arts and Global Issues

Two theater productions featured in the 2013 British Council Edinburgh Showcase make their US premiere: 


June 10-29: at Studio Theatre in Washington DC

When a top F16 fighter pilot becomes pregnant, she is re-assigned as a remote control drone operator in a trailer outside of Las Vegas. "The beauty of (George) Brant's slippery script and Christopher Haydon's uncompromising production is the way they confront the audience: we are both witness and spying eye; we cannot escape being implicated in the debate about moral responsibility.. a searing piece of writing, and (it) gets the blistering performance it deserves from Lucy Ellinson." -Lyn Gardner of The Guardian. Produced by London's Gate Theatre.

The program includes 3 panel discussions to address remote warfare and mental health, drone policy, and the artists' experience creating this play. 


June 24-28, Oct 1-20


A community choir has tragically been the target of a mass shooting, and in the aftermath their priest explores how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity through a test of the limits of empathy and a journey that takes her to the edge of reason, science, politics and faith. Featuring a different local community choir in each performance that is integrated in the production. Playwright David Greig, commissioned by actors Touring Company.

We will be working with our partners to create bespoke public programs to expand the discourse on these issues as they are relevant to each community including panel events exploring issues of reconciliation, xenophobia, mental health and violence, vulnerability and security. Learn More

Opportunities for Presenters

Just Like a Woman

photo courtesy of George Chakravarthi,

Attention performance presenters interested in representations of gender!  Just Like a Woman is a program of lectures, shows, readings, installations, screenings, workshops and debates looking at 

the performance of identity –  the ways femininity can be 'performed' and representations of gender can be queered through performance.  

Just Like A Woman features an exciting array of established and emergent UK based artists-women performing women, women performing men, men performing women and artists who go beyond ideas of gender altogether. Participating artists are Lois Weaver, George Chakravarthi, The Girls, Dickie Beau, Nando Messias, Laura Bridgeman & Serge Nicholson, Lucy Hutson and David Hoyle.  

Relaxed Performances (see Stuff.. below)

Stuff We're Chuffed* About

Partnership with Abron's Arts Center-

Lingering ideas from Beauty and the Beast and Access All Areas:

Matt Fraser's brilliant improvised manifesto  took us all by surprise and got us thinking in new radical ways about "Disability Arts" and art and disability.

One of the highlights was learning about Relaxed Performances, which accommodate audiences with autism or learning or sensory disabilities. See how theNational Theatre and the RSC have adopted this policy, and if you are a US performance presenter looking to expand audience access in this way, please register your interest for inclusion in a US initiative.

British Council Art Exhibition

Did you know that the British Council manages a public art collection of over 8,000 works? 

 A multi-media selection of those works – ranging from a Mark Titchner light
-box to a Tracey Emin t-shirt and a Damien Hirst series- are on exhibition at the British Consulate, home of the British Council office in New York City. A free publicationshows the works and gives further information on each of the represented artists.

 *"chuffed" = British for "pleased as punch"

About Us 

Our US arts office, based in New York City, connects British and American arts professionals by offering information, providing resources and promoting opportunities for Americans to experience new British work. The British Council receives a small amount of its budget as a UK government grant, with the majority of our funding coming from partnerships. We are not a traditional granting organization that accepts unsolicited applications, but instead we encourage cooperation between British and American arts professionals through strategic partnerships which we support and/or facilitate. Learn more.