How would people with disabilities fair if aliens invaded? A new science-fiction comedy web-series aims to play with that situation. The series is set in Australia and has four main characters with a variety of disabilities. The series creators have previously made a documentary and comedy short film about people with disabilities. They are currently looking for actors to play teenage characters with autism, Down syndrome, low vision, and one who uses a wheelchair. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply. But hurry, auditions will take place soon.
A woman performs on stage in front of a film showing a woman's face. The image is dark and haunting.
Performers reveal inner secrets.
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.
A close-up of a microphone with stage lights in the background
Singing about love, sex and disability.
The Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra is a Melbourne band. Its members Jess, Anthea and Tim all have disabilities. They play original music and other peoples’ music. They sing about love, sex, death, disability and British mythology. The band has a song called ‘Welcome’. It is about the more challenging and personal aspects of living with a disability. The band hopes it can educate the public. The band won an award for the music video of the song.
I could not get by without music. Music has helped me in so many ways; surviving boarding school, motivating hard work at the gym, and feeling blessed in church singing hymns. Over the years I have wallowed in love ballads to cope with a broken heart. Uplifting bouncy tunes have helped me survive short-lived career moves. Music is a great cure for loneliness and boredom. I just go with the music and feel the flow and beat of excitement.
Weave and Movement Theatre - Movement and Dance for all abilities
Weave Movement Theatre is one of Victoria's premier movement and dance companies and works with a range of people with and without disabilities. The company is led by Janice Florence who lives as a paraplegic, but she has worked in the areas of dance and movement for several years. She has worked and had residences with Karen Nelson, Diverse Dance in the USA , Touchdown and CanDoCo in the UK , all of which have contributed to her professional practice as a dance artist.
As the stirring music rang through the air, the sun set slowly behind us and bathed the stage in light.
I attended one of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's classical concerts a few months ago at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. At first, I was worried that I would not be able to go because of my limited walking ability. But I found that there was lots of help available for people with a disability. A young man with Cerebral Palsy also appeared in the concert. I ended up having a great night.
Billy Bragg played a concert at Hamer Hall in tribute to 100 years of Woody Guthrie
In October I saw the English musician Billy Bragg at the refurbished Hamer Hall. The wheelchair seating was fantastic. It is very rare that venues enable wheelchair users to sit in the front row. The number of lifts, wheelchair accessible toilets and the low counters made the venue very accommodating for wheelchair users. But it was the wheelchair accessible seating which impressed me the most. The show was a tribute to Woody Guthrie and was part of the Melbourne Festival. A great performance and the wheelchair friendly venue made it a special night.
Specialised theatre performances in Auslan are becoming more popular
Australian Theatre of the Deaf (ATOD) has been running for many years in Sydney and has now moved to Melbourne. I spoke to the actors and director to find out how different or special the ATOD is in comparison to other theatre companies. I also asked what sort of plays they have provided in the past and discussed the challenges and benefits of running plays for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences.
Percussion instruments for children enrolled in Musica Viva
Looking at the title you might ask, can Deaf children participate in musical activities if they are unable to hear? Can they benefit from music education in their schools? The answer is "Yes". This story highlights how one Deaf school in Melbourne has successfully started a music program for these students and how they have progressed by leaps and bounds.
Catching the eye of a total stranger. (Image Jason Chatfield)
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.