After the success of the Paralympic opening ceremony in finding hidden disabled talent, Birds of Paradise Theatre Company are searching Scotland to find undiscovered deaf and disabled performers. Following the critical and popular success of their most recent show Wendy Hoose , Birds of Paradise believe the time is ripe to increase representation of people with impairments on stage and screen.
Garry Robson, one of the company’s Artistic Directors, said “We had a simple question – where are the disabled performers of the future in Scotland?”
To answer that question, Birds of Paradise are launching Looking for Talent (L4T) a large scale outreach project designed to find deaf and disabled people who could be the professional actors and theatre makers of tomorrow. The company are working with partner groups and venues throughout Scotland to deliver workshops during the early part of 2015 building towards an intensive programme later in the year year. Partners include;
Dundee Rep Theatre, Eden Court Theatre (Inverness), Electric Theatre Workshop (Dumfries) and Aberdeen Performing Arts
The first stage of this process will be a roadshow which will visit various parts of Scotland giving an introduction to deaf and disability arts and creative access followed by group workshops and individual auditions auditions for deaf and disabled people interested in theatre and performance. From these events Birds of Paradise will identify a group of individuals to work with them to create a new show written by leading Scottish playwright David Greig.
Robert Gale, the company’s other Artistic Director, said: “We are eager to identify a pool of highly talented disabled people from around Scotland who are ready to develop their skills and experience and become readily employable performance and theatre artists for any company in Scotland, the UK or further afield”
Garry Robson said: “The day will introduce participants to the work of professional deaf and disabled performers in Scotland and beyond and demonstrate how this influx of new artists and the imaginative application of access is changing the face of modern theatre and performance.”