A Different Way is a project led by Daryl Beeton Productions, with core partners Half Moon Theatre, Spark Arts for Children, New Wolsey Theatre and Mimbre with supporting partners Graeae Theatre
Company, Attenborough Arts Centre and TYA UK, to support the growth of inclusive theatre for young audiences. The entire process is being evaluated by Danny Braverman, Lecturer at Goldsmiths University of London.
Following the ideology of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, it aims to build knowledge of how to create work with, not for, young Disabled people. A Different Way will see the company research and develop 3 new shows for different age groups, delving into the nuances of access and inclusion in meaningful and entertaining ways.
“I’ve worked in Theatre for Young Audiences for a few years now (insert joke about how old I am here) and it is apparent to me that representation of Disabled people is an issue. There just aren’t that many Disabled people involved with the writing, production and touring of quality creative new theatre for young people. We want to change that.” Daryl Beeton
Daryl Beeton Productions are taking a 360° approach to this ‘show and tell’ project, tackling access, representation and inclusion on a number of levels, beginning with including young Disabled people in the creation of new work. The voices, stories and experiences of young people will form the core of each production. The creative teams will run participatory workshops with the different age groups, experimenting with fresh ways of devising and developing themes, language and narratives together.
This is complemented by a commitment to Artist Development, which will see opportunities created for talented Disabled performers, writers, directors and composers to be part of the 3 creative teams.
“I want to be able to share the experience and skills I’ve developed in Theatre for Young Audiences with other Disabled creatives. I want to help wedge open the door, to introduce these exciting artists to this exciting sector. I want us to make original, inventive and authentic work which tells a whole range of different stories led by Disabled people. I want young Disabled people to see themselves and their experiences reflected and represented onstage.”
Then to complete the circle, A Different Way will be carefully documented and shared throughout, with a ‘warts and all’ case study accompanying each show which will pull back the curtain on the creative process and share deep insights into the co-production methods used.
These practical, actionable case studies will share learning and methodology with the TYA sector and will be shared online and at the A Different Way Symposium, currently planned for February 2021.
This event will provide an opportunity for discussion and debates around the barriers within Theatre for young audiences sector for Disabled led work, as well as an opportunity to see ‘work-in-progress’ showings of the three productions.
The three shows will each tackle a different idea linked to inclusion in imaginative ways:
An Unseen World – Development of a show idea for 3-6 year olds that explores the ‘unseen barriers’ which are present in our society.
Look Mum, No Hands! – Development of a show idea for 8-12 year olds that explores ‘fear and risk’ and our understanding of a persons physical impairment.
Special – Development of a show idea for aged 14+ that explores ‘language and terminology’ and its use within different generations of Disabled people.
Click HERE to read about all off the work undertaken before on the programme we paused due to Covid-19