We are committed to increasing the representation and influence of deaf and disabled theatre-makers across our activity. Since 2017 our Testing Ground project has commissioned and supported disabled artists through a development programme of bespoke support which has included: financial contributions; rehearsal space; marketing, production and access support; dramaturgical and creative feedback; business development; and help with further applications.
Testing Ground has a particular urgency now, as the barriers and lack of opportunities faced by disabled artists are magnified during the pandemic, with many shielding and a virtual standstill of all plans and activity. Hard-fought gains around access and inclusion are slipping down agendas. Freelancers are the endangered bedrock of our Arts ecology, with many slipping through the gaps, unsure if and when work will return and having to re-assess life and career choices. We must continue to support these artists, and continue to invest in the ideas and creativity that will make returning exciting and worthwhile.
We will continue our relationships with those who have come through Testing Ground, and help ensure our current cohort have the same opportunities to showcase their work as others have before.
‘Not only has Testing Ground given me invaluable time, space and resources to begin a new piece of work which I’m really excited about, but the process has been transformative in terms of exploring my personal relationship to my disability in my artistic practice and developing a neurodiverse led practice.’ – Nicola Werenowska, writer of Invisible (Testing Ground 1 commission).
If you would like more information about Testing Ground, please download this document.
To apply, have a chat or find out more details, contact Jamie Beddard, Agent for Change at JBeddard@wolseytheatre.co.uk.