Professional inclusive theatre
Examples of inclusive theatre companies include Edinburgh-based Theatre Workshop, who toured a production of Brecht's The Threepenny Opera as part of Scotland's programme for the European Year of Disabled People in 2003. The production sold out in its Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh venues. Cast using professional disabled actors, The Threepenny Opera brought Theatre Workshop’s professionalism and commitment to inclusiveness to a wider audience across Scotland. It was hailed by the Scotsman as 'a show that works on every level, from the vehement and glittering intensity of the performances'. (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman)
Giant Productions is a Glasgow-based organisation dealing specifically with arts activities for children/young people from three to 11 years. They create customised, intimate spaces for their theatre productions which usually include the use of scent, sensory lighting and Makaton as part of their aim to be an inclusive company.
Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise aims to produce work that places disability in the public arena; and to work as an agent for change in the arts and education sector.
The company’s annual programme of work includes:
- Touring professional productions as well as a community tour/project
- A secondary school inclusive initiative, The B-P-Q Project. It brings young disabled and non-disabled people together through a common interest in theatre. It can provide opportunities for school students to gain drama qualifications in schools where there are no drama specialists.
- The Agent for Change Project: advocacy for inclusive working within the arts sector
As well as funding inclusive theatre companies, the Scottish Arts Council provides broader practical support for inclusion in theatre. For example, Getting There is a new practical resource for arts venues in Scotland to increase the inclusion of disabled people. It will be available soon on CD-ROM - watch this space.
For more information on the Scottish Arts Council and inclusion, visit the Arts and Communities section.
To read more about a professional inclusive theatre company, read focus on Theatre Workshop; and profile of Robert Softley and his involvement with inclusive theatre.