Agent for Change – making small steps to inclusion…

We have lots of work taking place at the moment as part of A Different Way – a ‘show and tell’ project connecting Theatre for Young Audiences with Disabled audiences and artists. 

Our work on the “Special” R&D continues with one of our partners, The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. We’ve been working with one of their youth theatre groups, as well as in Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy, continuing to explore the themes and shape of the show. This process places young people at the heart of the creative process, supporting the growth of inclusive theatre for young people.

So, as we have been working in Ipswich (where the sun always seems to shine), it seems an appropriate time to talk about Jamie. 

I have known Jamie for many years, but here is a little bit about him according to his Wikipedia page….

Jamie Beddard (born 28 August 1966) is one of the UK’s leading disabled theatre practitioners. He is a writer, actor, director and workshop leader as well as a trainer and consultant. He was editor of DAIL Magazine during the 1990s, has worked as Diversity Officer at Arts Council England, was Associate Director at Graeae Theatre Company, is a Senior Associate at Diverse City and Director of The Big Lounge Collective which he co-founded in 2011. He has achieved the honour of Clore Fellow.

As long as I have known Jamie, he has always been an advocate for the an inclusive arts sector, working tirelessly for change… and he is in fact the Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre.

But ‘What is an Agent for Change?’ I hear you ask…. well I’ll let Jamie tell you in his own words.

“I am Agent for Change at The New Wolsey Theatre. My brief is to ensure access, inclusion and diversity are at the heart of the organisation’s thinking and doing. Specifically, I work with the creative team around ensuring Deaf and disabled talent is supported, programmed, cast and platformed in our work. I am also lucky enough to be able to seed commission work through our Testing Ground programme.” Jamie Beddard

Having a dedicated Agent for Change working with you is, for some of us, a point further off in the distance, but we can all be allies to inclusion if we start with the small changes we can control. 

So as part of our #ADiffWayToThink series this month Jamie will be sharing some ‘small steps’ that we can all take to make a change in our own practice and within our organisations. We hope that you will share some of your ‘small steps’ too!

We use the hashtag #ADiffWayToThink to share relevant reports, news items and good practice in the last week of every month. We want this to be an ongoing discussion both ways, so you can also interact with the hashtag by sharing stuff yourself, asking questions or sharing your own experiences…. It doesn’t have to be all one way! 

We want you involved and to join us as an ally, to share responsibility, collaborate and create solutions. Join us and find #ADiffWayToThink

And whist we are here…..Jamie’s current’s show Splash! will be finishing its tour this year on 27th & 28th September at ‘Feste’ in Derby . He Co-Directed this outdoor performance event that follows Flo and her grandfather on a ‘shero’s journey’. In an interactive, sonic water world, the story is told through circus, physical theatre, comedy, puppetry and places creative access and inclusion at its heart.

Click HERE for more details about Splash!