Despite the continuing partial lockdown in Brussels, over the last two months we have managed to turn The Bridge from concept into reality and The Bridge Productions ASBL is now its own legal entity!
We are now beginning to think about future programming plans and our performing arts education, which will kick off through a Summer Workshop for young people in July or August.
This is the fourth update on our progress towards creating an English theatre for Brussels. Thanks for joining the ride!
1. Venue over money
When I first started thinking about creating Brussels’ first professional English theatre, I imagined the primary task would be to secure funding. Money makes the world go round, after all. With capital behind me, I thought, I could then build the brand with the aim of acquiring a building at some point.
I have since changed my thoughts on this: investment will come to the project when it is ready. My first task, instead, is to convert the abstract vision into something tangible. When I tell people about the project, after agreeing that this is exactly what Brussels needs, the first question they ask is: ‘So, where’s it going to be?’
So, the search is on!
In the first instance, The Bridge needs a venue so that it can do its primary function - produce engaging and relevant theatrical productions in English. The first venue could be a rented space that is easily converted to a theatre, or it could be an existing theatre with space availability for a minimum four-week period. We are open to suggestions!
In the longer-term, The Bridge will need its own home. However, simply finding a building and turning it into a theatre is not so straightforward in Brussels. This is due to the planning and zoning laws here, where each building has a designated purpose, according to the local authority.
Since January, I have been actively looking out for locations for our theatre. I am currently exploring options in Ixelles, St Gilles, Anderlecht and Molenbeek. But, I need your help!
If you know of a location that you think would be suitable to house The Bridge, or if you know people within the Brussels authorities who could help, then please do drop us an email!
2. Podcast: How to Build a Theatre
That’s right - we are jumping on the podcast bandwagon. London-based singer, Phil Wilcox, and I will delve into the depths of the theatre industry while looking to its social relevance in the post-COVID world. Episodes will be released monthly and will give a chance for you to hear an update on our progress straight from the horse’s mouth.
Our first episode will be released in April on all major podcast platforms, but you can already listen to our teaser here:
We navigated the quagmire that is the Belgian bureaucracy and The Bridge Productions ASBL is now a registered not-for-profit!
My co-founder is a fabulous fellow Brit, Dot Zacharis. Dot is an experienced social impact entrepreneur with experience of working in mental health and wellbeing. Over the last 4 years she has been managing her own business in Belgium, running workshops and events in large companies including Belfius Bank, SWIFT, L'hoist, Brussels Airlines, Carmeuse, European Commission and many more. Prior to this, Dot was a senior member of the management team for a community business fund in the UK and brings her passion and knowledge of community business to The Bridge.
I am delighted to have Dot on board in this venture and I look forward to us taking on this journey together.
4. Be Social
Finally, please make us less lonely by following us on Facebook! You will get all the latest information, including updates on our Summer Workshop for kids, our forthcoming crowdfunding campaign, and exclusive insights on our hunt for a location.
That’s all for this update. Take care,