Operations Director, Graeae
Deaf and disabled theatre makers are severely underrepresented in the theatre sector, and physical and attitudinal barriers mean that existing training initiatives and conventional career avenues are not always accessible. With Esmée support, Graeae and our partners are providing a much-needed platform for Deaf and disabled writers, directors and theatre makers nationwide to develop their skills and experience in a supported, inclusive and accessible environment. In the last four years alone, we have developed 20 writers through our flagship new writing programme, Write to Play, and a further 27 through development schemes, Play Labs and Playchats. Two writers have gone on to receive full commissions, and many more are forging ahead with their writing careers. With programmes such as Write to Play, we are paving the way for the next generation of Deaf and disabled theatre makers to take centre stage.
As well as offering high quality training to writers to ensure the UK theatre sector is programming and commissioning world class new writing by Deaf and disabled playwrights, we also aim to provide specialist training for our partner organisations to inspire and initiate sector change more broadly. Partnering with leading new writing theatres across the UK, our long-term aim is to work alongside our partners to provoke an attitudinal shift that will lead to all aspects of mainstream theatre venues being accessible to all and therefore, to greater diversity across the sector. By significantly influencing the policies and practices of our partner organisations, we will increase opportunities for Deaf and disabled writers now and into the future.