Despite the statistics, despite the need for more inclusion, more access, more opportunities, more respect - I am awestruck daily at the work being done by our incredible group of Equally Diverse actors.
Earlier this year we started our most ambitious (and hard-hitting) project to date - the Hidden Disabilities project. Since May this year, this group have been sharing experiences of discrimination and bullying. Using Forum Theatre techniques we have looked at the unconscious use of inappropriate language and the issues people with disabilities face on a daily basis. These sessions have been tough - not for the group (who have embraced the work with gusto and professionalism), but for all those in the sessions who DON'T have a disability as we have been constantly reminded and surprised by the openness and strength those living with disabilities have - and all the fears I had about introducing this project to the group faded the instant we started.
Since September they have taken their work into schools and are now devising a show that will be performed with a small group of Year 12 pupils, to an audience of over 400 Year 8 pupils!
What I love about this show is that despite the difficult subject matter, the show is FULL of humour and (just like the rehearsals) I have never laughed so hard!