Teens with disabilities battle aliens

Graham Clements
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.
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Graham Clements on 27/08/2015
A spaceship in the sky
Alien spaceship

Seeking actors to battle aliens

What would aliens make of a person who uses a wheelchair? How would someone with autism react to an alien invasion? A new science-fiction comedy web-series will play with those scenarios. The series places characters with disabilities at the centre of an alien invasion. The creators of the series are currently seeking actors to play a variety of characters with disabilities.

Christian White, the writer of the series says: “There’s plenty of movies about alien invasions - we’ve seen how the army would handle it, how Will Smith would handle it, but we haven’t seen how four unique teenagers with disabilities would handle it.”

The creators want the series to combine the adventure of “Goonies” with the humour of “Shaun of the Dead”.  They want it to be a wild and fun adventure, but also to challenge viewers with its content.

Creators experienced with disability themes

Director Summer DeRoche and writer Christian White are two of the series creators. They have previously collaborated on an award-winning documentary “The Globe Collector”. It is about a Tasmanian who has collected over 10,000 light globes. They describe him as an eccentric genius who has Asperger’s syndrome.

DeRoche and White also made “Small”, a short comedy film. It is about a woman on a date with a man of short stature. According to White the film “was playing with society’s in-built nervousness about people with disabilities  – are we being politically incorrect?” White says he is drawn to stories about people with disabilities due to their unique take on the world.

Lack of characters with disabilities

White’s attitude to people with disabilities seems to be rare with Australian screenwriters. Divine has previously reported how few actors with disabilities appear on Australian screens. One of the reasons for this is the lack of characters with disabilities in Australian films and television shows. Rather than ignore people with disabilities, this series has four main characters with a disability. The producers of the series say they are “excited to open the casting call to young people with disabilities”. So here’s the chance for actors with disabilities to show what they can do.   

Four characters with disabilities

The web-series needs actors for the following roles:

  • Cassie, a  stubborn and brutally honest teenage girl with autism
  • Pete, a smart and charming teenage boy who uses a wheelchair
  • Barry, a lovably dry and sarcastic teenage boy who has a vision impairment
  • Jamie, a large, loud, wise and funny teenage boy with Down syndrome.

All characters are aged 16, except Jamie who is 18. Older actors who can play younger characters will be considered. While the characters live in Australia, they can be of any ethnicity. Potential actors don’t need to be experienced.

How to get a role

Anyone interested in auditioning needs to email the producers of the series. The email should include a video of the applicant talking about themselves and their experience. A mobile phone can be used to record the video as the series creators are not fussed about its quality. Let them know of any access requirements in the email. Interested actors should apply as soon as possible as auditions are currently being organised.   

Learn more about applying for a role
Divine story Actors with disabilities http://www.divine.vic.gov.au/arts-and-entertainment/film-tv-radio/actors-disabilities












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