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‘Standing Out’ a Mask/Mime show by Partners Theatre Company

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Partners Theatre Company performed: ‘Standing Out’ June 2014

At the Wyvern Theatre Swindon, DHL Iceland Distribution Centre, Swindon

And AFL Swindon

‘Standing Out’, was a mask/mime theatre project that tackled the effects of ‘Hate Crime’. It drew attention to why people with disabilities can sometimes feel afraid to join in with normal community life. Joe Dickson, a deaf actor from Partners Theatre Company our group of disabled performers, felt moved to help bring about a change of attitude. He wanted to encourage the other members in the company to create a drama, using masks, which addressed this problem.

Joe said:

We had some training from a professional theatre company called ‘Vamos’. This was really good, they helped us to feel confident to stand up in front of people and perform to them using masks.

After that, we all spent several months working with Kerry Boorman, our professional theatre director. She encouraged us to use our personal experiences, from times when we have felt picked on by others, as the true information to create our drama. Kerry took these stories and made them into a play that took around to local businesses.

When we did perform the audience were impressed by our show, they told us they had learned a lot about our lives and now understand how, at certain times, we have been made to feel.

The result of doing this project means that me, and my friends in the group, now feel more confident because we have had the chance to let people know what has happened to us. We have been really encouraged by the things that members of the audience said to us after the shows, this has helped us all to feel stronger and proud to be who we are.

The comments from the companies we worked with are listed below. What other people said about our work is really important to us and it shows that we did what we set out to do with our project called ‘Standing Out’.

Masks are often used to de-personalise and de-humanise people, in turn ensuring that everybody is the same. In ‘Standing Out’, a mask/mime show by Partner’s Theatre Company, the masks only highlight and enhance the differences between people. Each mask stands alone as a unique individual – a fact that Partner’s Theatre Company would like to celebrate. ‘Standing Out’ is a performance piece which highlights how being ‘different’ can provoke negativity and hatred, as well as being the singular reason that one person falls in love with another.   A performance piece of this nature could tour local organisations – and could teach valuable lessons to people about tolerance and empathy, as well as promoting an important message the disabilities are life-altering but not preventative of leading a life.   

Richard Loftus | Marketing Manager | Wyvern Theatre

Press coverage included an interview with actors from the company on BBC Radio Wiltshire on the 2nd June as part of the afternoon show. Newspaper coverage was provided by The Swindon Advertiser:

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