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Graeae launches £10k crowdfunding bid to train disabled creatives for arts career

Graeae artistic director Jenny Sealey. Photo: Micha Theiner Graeae artistic director Jenny Sealey. Photo: Micha Theiner
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Theatre company Graeae has launched a £10,000 crowdfunding campaign to support a scheme aimed at giving d/Deaf and disabled creatives training and work experience in the arts.

Graeae launched Ensemble last year, giving six young artists theatremaking skills aimed at equipping them for a career in the industry or for further drama school training.

Research from campaign group Act for Change recently highlighted how 0% of final-year students at drama school in 2016 were disabled.

“These statistics illustrate the current issues of barriers faced by many d/Deaf and disabled young people – exactly what the Ensemble programme aims to conquer,” Graeae said.

The crowdfunding campaign aims to support a second year of the programme and has been backed by actors Harriet Walter and Jenny Agutter.

“I love the idea of Ensemble working with drama schools, so that the drama teachers themselves learn more about the needs of d/Deaf and disabled performers. Drama students will get to understand that we’re all in it together, we’re all trying to do the same thing. Ensemble is doing a great job in equipping people with skills that they will need in the profession,” Walter said.

Graeae artistic director Jenny Sealey added that Ensemble “redefines how theatre is made”.

She said it would “drive Graeae’s mission forward – that we (d/Deaf and disabled artists) have a right to be centre stage”.

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