Theatre for Young Audiences in the UK has always been open to and supportive of disabled artists and has explored topics related to disability in plays for young audiences since the 1980‟s.
How do we define this theatre? There is a wealth of work that includes:
- Work for young disabled audiences
- Work created by disabled artists/performers for young audiences (both disabled and non-disabled young audiences)
- Work about disability from skilled writers for all audiences, performed by disabled performers.
This type of work is incredibly important because it ensures great art is accessible to everyone. It makes theatre richer and it challenges artists to re-evaluate their practice whilst providing important role models for young audiences, giving them the chance to view disability and diversity in a new light.
There can be ignorance and fear surrounding Disability Arts for Young Audiences and our aim today is to offer an insight, some examples of work and a space to exchange ideas, ask questions and initiate international links, so that when they return home, delegates will feel empowered and excited to try this work for themselves. We are incredibly pleased to present this seminar day and realise that we have an opportunity to inspire artists from around the world and in turn, be ourselves inspired.
This is the first time Disability Arts for Children and Young People has been discussed and explored at any of the ASSITEJ International Festivals, during the fifty years of the Association’s life. That is falls to TYA ASSITEJ-UK to present this work is a great honour for us and recognition of good practice, one we wish to really live up to.
Daryl Beeton, Chair “Whose Theatre Is It Anyway?”