The unspoken story of growing up disabled with cerebral palsy and no speech. This inclusive company fights ignorance using dark humour.
The unspoken story of growing up disabled with cerebral palsy and no speech. This inclusive company fights ignorance using dark humour. Read more
About this project
To view the video with subtitles please follow this link.
Who are we?
My name is Kate Caryer. I am a rude, pink-haired, theatre lover and pain in the arse. Oh, and I have a little thing called athetoid cerebral palsy, which means I use a wheelchair and a communication aid (think a punk-haired Stephen Hawking).
I have always loved theatre, but I very rarely see people like me on the stage. If they do show up, they are usually weak, uninteresting caricatures, written by non-disabled people, and not representative of the interesting, diverse group of disabled people that I know. Such roles are also usually given to non-disabled actors!
I wanted to do something about this, so I started The Unspoken Project CIC, along with Paul C. Mooney as Artistic Director, to give acting opportunities to disabled and non-disabled actors, and to bring the real stories of disabled people to the stage. Our first production, Speechless, is due to premier later this year.
What is Speechless?
Speechless shockingly overwrites everything you know about people without speech, and introduces their own stories to stage.
It tells the story of 19-year-old Rebecca. Like Kate, our director, she has no speech due to cerebral palsy. However, like many people in the UK and worldwide, Rebecca has no access to a communication aid or other methods of alternative communication. This means that her story, opinions, and devious teenage thoughts remain unspoken.
This production challenges widespread views about disabled people, through the mediums of dark humour, imaginary friends, and disabled criminals (disabled people can be evil too).
If you are in any doubt as to why our voices are so important, check out the video below.
Plan and Schedule
We are really excited that our premier performance is scheduled for September 2016! Communication Matters, the leading UK charity for people with alternative communication needs, has given us a prime spot in their Annual Conference programme of events & we have been given the opportunity to perform to them and the wider public at the Stage@leeds (University of Leeds). CM agrees it is important that this show gets seen and the arguments heard: we are delighted to have their support. This is an opportunity that we are keen to take, but we first need to raise enough money to do so!
The play has already been written, and is in the process of being edited after being reviewed by an embedded critic. The final draft of the play will be completed in April.
Between April and August we will be finalising the cast, as well as organising costumes and props. We will also hold informal readthroughs to fine-tune the script, ready for rehearsals.
Rehearsals will take place in August and early September, in time for the final performance mid-September.
Your money will go towards all the costs of putting on a production. In particular, it is important to us that all of our actors are paid fairly for their time and efforts.
In line with Equity's 'No Pay, Low Pay' campaign, we recognise the damaging effects of asking professional actors to work for little or no pay. Equity has found that over half of their members earn under £5,000 per year from their professional acting work, which means that many people without private income are being priced out. We support the diversity of the acting community, and hope to keep it that way by paying actors fairly for their work.
The money will be spread between the following:
Risks and challenges
All adventures have risks!
What if noone wants to come?
Ideally our play will have an audience! We suppose there's always a possibility that noone will want to buy tickets. However, we think this is unlikely because we are giving away free tickets to Communication Matters Conference delegates, plus the play will be awesome! So we will definitely have a reasonably sized audience simply from conference delegates. However, it is also important to have a range of people in the audience, so we have a plan of local groups to invite, and will also sell tickets to the general public. Between all of these people, we are pretty sure we won't be performing to an empty room!
What if it's not 'inspirational' enough?
Brilliant! This is not a story of woe about an unfortunate family with the misfortune of having a disabled little girl. It is about a strong teenager breaking into adulthood. It is not 'inspiration porn'.
What if there are other unexpected costs or difficulties along the way?
We are confident that we will be able to solve any minor difficulties, as any play is bound to have some! We will also keep backers posted in the event that there are any delays. Essentially, we will let you all know how things are going!
We are really excited, and confident that Speechless will be great, and will provide exciting opportunities for sharing ideas and for disabled and non-disabled actors alike.
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