Rosalie Craig has called on the industry to “push harder” for D/deaf and disabled actors to be part of every production.
Craig was speaking at The Stage Debut Awards, where she presented the best actor in a play award to Jamal Ajala for Ear for Eye at London’s Royal Court. He is the first Deaf actor to win at The Stage Debut Awards.
“It’s just so extraordinary to be in an industry that embraces people from all walks of life, in terms of disabilities and race,” Craig told The Stage.
“I think it’s a very exciting time for that conversation to be had, and I’m standing with a man who is living proof that it can be done and should be done more in the arts.
“I don’t think the work is ever going to be done, it’s an ever-evolving thing, and I think we need to continue to push harder for any disabilities to just be part of every single production.”
Craig added: “People should be able to work alongside each other whatever race, whatever disability or ability, and I think we need that to represent real life on stage.”
Ajala said that winning the award “shows that people can do wonderful things in the arts regardless of their disability”.
He added: “Young people can see barriers being broken down and D/deaf people being represented in the arts […] We just need more access and more attention to what people’s needs are and providing those needs.”