Emma Norton is a young actress and member of the BoilOver Inclusive Theatre Ensemble. The Melbourne-based theatre group is made up of people with a disability who love to perform. Emma has enjoyed acting since she was a child. She is also studying an acting course at NMIT. This week Emma will perform in her fourth play for BoilOver, called Innermost. In February, Emma spoke at a meeting in Canberra about the NDIS. She spoke about the great things she has done in her life.
I went to see a show called Glimpse at a theatre venue in Melbourne. It's about the lives of 8 different characters. It's about how talking to a stranger can lead to something more meaningful. It talks about issues of homelessness, isolation, alcohol and divorce within relationships. I was able to relate to some of the themes. I highly recommend this play.
Red is a play about the artist Mark Rothko. It is playing at the Melbourne Theatre Company. Alkinos Tsilimidos is the director. Colin Friels plays Mark Rothko. André de Vanny plays his assistant Ken. The play has many interesting ideas. Rothko has mixed feelings about painting murals for the Four Seasons restaurant. He wants people to feel an emotional reaction to his paintings. The play relies strongly on conversations between Rothko and Ken. But it doesn't have enough dramatic tension. The performances are good but I don't think everyone will like Red.
I went to the theatre to see Tribes. It is a play about a family. One of the sons, Billy, is deaf. He goes through struggles with his family. The play examines many ideas about deafness. There were many reasons why I enjoyed the play. One reason was because the play was accessible. On the stage were two flat screens where you could read the words of the play. I could read the words of each character as they spoke. It was a simple idea that worked perfectly. I recommend the play to everyone.
I love the theatre. But I have a vision impairment. It is frustrating that I cannot see everything on stage. I went with friends to see the play The Importance of Being Earnest. We organised to have a tour of the stage. We felt some of the costumes. We met two actors. During the play we wore an earpiece. A person known as an audio describer told us what was happening on stage. It helped us to better understand the story. Vision Australia organise audio descriptions for many shows.
I recently saw the play Ganesh versus the Third Reich. But I did not enjoy it. I could not hear what the actors said. Back to Back Theatre gave me a script to read. But I could not read the script while the play was being performed. I have attended plays with live captions. It was an unforgettable experience. My partner said it was the first time she had heard me laugh at the same time as the rest of the audience. There are millions of Deaf and hearing-impaired Australians. We should be able to enjoy live theatre.
Fog Theatre is a drama group for people with a disability. It started in 1991 in St Kilda. The members love playing music. They also like to act and dance. Fog recently performed a show called Forest of Gongs. It was a great show. After the show the performers enjoyed meeting the audience.
Rawcus is a group of actors who perform regular shows. Some of the members of Rawcus have a disability. Rawcus began in 2000 and has performed many successful shows, including one with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. They also run workshops for people to learn about acting. Their next big show is called Small Odysseys. The actors say they want to challenge themselves and make something special.
Back to Back has made successful theatre shows for over 20 years. The actors in their shows are people with a disability. Back to Back won a $25,000 award for brave writing. They used the money to work on another bold new show. The actors say they enjoy working on new ideas for shows and performing for other people. The company's aim is to make the best art they can.
The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe is currently touring Australia and New Zealand. The Performers have vision and hearing impairment. Highlights of the show included a traditional butterfly dance. There was also a band featuring Chinese and Western instruments. But some people did not like comments made by the announcer. The comments showed the differences in attitudes to disability between China and Australia. Some people in the audience were upset.