A new video podcast which seeks to celebrate and demystify accessible theatre will launch this week on 11 February.

The Green Room is a 12-part series which will tell the stories of Deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse artists and their allies in the performing arts. The podcast is produced by STRIVE, a new collective of accessible theatre companies, comprised of the DH Ensemble and Hot Coals Productions, and aims to encourage and empower those within the theatre sector to becoming more confident in integrating access into their works. Their hope is that by amplifying disabled voices in the performing arts sector, the eventual return to theatres after the pandemic will not see accessibility become a “lost cause,” and a further victim of cuts to spending, resulting in a slide backwards in the progress made within the industry for disabled performers and theatre-goers.

Sophie Stone of DH Ensemble said: “In this podcast, you’ll come across stories you really haven’t heard before. Want to learn about the experience of a Deaf performer on Broadway? How do Deaf or disabled artists of colour feel about diversity tick boxes? What does a ‘creative enabler’ actually do? This is not a podcast about barriers and difficulty. We’re talking to some of the amazing artists we love who are Deaf, disabled or neurodiverse and some industry allies who have led fascinating lives and deserve further recognition.”

Clare-Louise English, co-founder of Hot Coals Productions echoed these sentiments, saying: “The Green Room is an exciting opportunity for us to share our love and knowledge of accessible theatre. To chat with some of our friends about the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of this interesting and innovative work across the industry, to inspire and empower artists and audiences alike. It’s not about making your organisation more welcoming to a particular audience group, it’s repositioning access as an artistic choice, right at the start. It makes the work more exciting.”

The Green Room will launch this Thursday at 7:30 pm, and feature interviews with Alim Jayda, a Hard of Hearing musical theatre performer with previous acting credits including Mama Mia! Here We Go Again, creative enabler Gemma Harvey, and Deaf actor, dancer, and director Alexandria Wailes. The podcasts will be available in English and BSL, and with captions and integrated audio description.

Subscribe to their YouTube channel to receive notifications and reminders for each episode here.

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