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Thread: Thinking of starting a theater group for physically disabled...

  1. #1
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    Smile Thinking of starting a theater group for physically disabled...

    I'm thinking of starting a theater group for people with mild to moderate physical disabilities aged 18-35. Here's why, in my experience with theater there are very few places for youth performers to express and further their talents,especially for those of us who have visible disabilities i.e those of us who use mobility aides. I often feel that people visible disabilities who don't have mental impairments are pushed aside in these disability related groups because the definition of disability has widened so much in the last few years. I'v worked with groups(not only theater but support groups and camps) where everybody in the disability minority is included and in the process each disability group doesn't get enough attention and some of the accessibly needs are not met because every one is lumped together too much, instead of too little. That's what I mean by being pushed aside. I'v seen this many times so I know it is true. I am also disappointed when I see theater groups for disabled being run by people who are able bodied. I thought the best way for me to fix these issues would be to start something of my own. It would be called "Only those who limp." To be in the group a person could be any race,gender, sex, etc but you must have a physical disability to act in it.
    Some of these disabilities would be for example:
    Cerebral Palsy.
    Muscle disorders.
    Spinal disorders and injuries.
    Missing limps.
    Blindness/low vision
    Hearing impairments.

    The group would have readings and small performances. Scripts written by disabled playwrights would be highly preferred but not mandatory. Some people have asked me why I don't want to include quote on quote 'everybody" One of the reasons is at this point I simply don't have the resources or know-how to include people with mental impairments,types of autism, or very severely disabled in a way that would be enjoyable and safe for them. In addition to that I'v seen groups that only focus on one area of disability such as blindness,deafness,Down Syndrome etc so what could be wrong with starting a group that focuses mainly on visible motor disabilities in the same way? Plus audience members can be of any and every ability.

    Any thoughts on my idea?

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    Hey I don't usually even post or read on this forum but I happened upon this post. I think it's an amazing idea!!! What a wonderful way for Those groups of individuals to express themselves and feel the sense of pride when performing on the stage. Just an idea but including any and all dissabilities may be a good thing also. There are so many different talents that could be included. Another idea would be performing at schools so our children and teens can see how much these individuals have to offer. A script that includes lessons on bullying and acceptance of any and all dissabilities would be a great start. I just love your idea and hope it takes off and spreads... I frequent the Child Neurology and stroke formums because my daughter was born with Down syndrome and also suffered a series of strokes caused by Moyamoya disease. I hope you'll post updates on your group when you get it started.
    Mary Grace

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    ((((((funnylegs4))))))

    A wonderful idea!

    Your name, "Only Those Who Limp," causes me to wonder whether you would include folks, who use wheelchairs. A little biased here, as I'm quite familiar with the exclusion of persons, who use wheelchairs, in practically every setting on Earth. So, I would hope that w/c users would be offered opportunities to participate in your theatre project.

    I searched "theater groups for people with disabilities" and found this site: http://www.semel.ucla.edu/nadc

    It might be helpful for you to check out other successful theatre programs for persons with disabling conditions, and possibly contact some of these organizations for advice and guidance. You might even be able to apply for a grant, so that you have additional resources for your project.

    Good Luck!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Thanks for your input on my idea. Unfortunately I never had the right resources to do it the way I wanted. BUT NOW MY BEST FRIEND DOES! His group will focus mostly on physical disabilities since he has Cerebral Palsy but it will be a lot more inclusive than my plan was. And all the plays performed will feature disabled characters. He even wants me to write for and act in his group!!! He is looking into getting grants now. I'll be posting lots of updates soon. So keep your eyes peeled!!! :)

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    Decided to read some old posts and found this. I ended up doing this kind of thing with my films basically http://cripvideoproductions.tumblr.com I may have a theater branch of the "brand" eventually. Of course it all depends on many factors. I now see how short sided I was in not including everyone. I was just angry at the time that physical impairments seemed to be taking a back seat but now I see that people with conditions like Autism need just as much help. Real inclusion is the answer. My work still puts physical disabilities front and center but I believe that I am developing the skills needed to work with all types of impairments. We shall we what happens and I will keep you all updated on my projects.
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 11-07-2013 at 09:09 AM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

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