Case Studies

Weekly Inclusive Theatre Skills Sessions

  • Artist(s):
    Reaction Theatre Makers
  • Artform(s):
    Theatre
  • Health Need(s):
    Learning Difficulties
Summary:
A weekly drama session for adults with learning disabilities aged between 25-60.

Project Information

Weekly Inclusive Theatre Skills Sessions (WITSS), which is run by Reaction Theatre Makers, offers a weekly drama session for adults with learning disabilities aged between 25-60.

Reaction developed the group a few years ago, following consultation with day centres that identified a need for this work. Despite limited funding, the group has gone from strength to strength. The group meets in a youth centre and has lots of community support. They want to ensure that people with learning disabilities are able to use drama and presentations to create integrated events in the community. An example of which was the Christmas presentation where over 70 people attended, 40 which were people with learning disabilities.

The scheme of work is varied and responsive to the group’s needs and interests. In March there is a public performance, this year it is a full-scale performance of Macbeth, however sessions also incorporate drama games and singing. Activities are adapted to suit the mobility of the participants and they do a lot of role-play looking at life issues as well as whole group and small group work. 25 people attend the sessions including the carers and in the future they hope to split into more groups. A drama facilitator and a volunteer who is a dancer and is deaf, facilitate the session, and their skills have also been incorporated into the sessions. Beyond the session, the group continues to meet to socialise and have lunch and the group serves as an opportunity to make friends and meet new people.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. In particular, people have said they enjoy offering something to the local community. People have said attending the group and sharing their work has helped given them a new identity and makes themselves known to other people and helps them feel part of something.

To read more about this project click here.

Edward Cooper (support worker) explains participant Anthony Ford's ongoing involvement in the project:
"The main thing he likes about this group is the friendship and being part of a group. He likes the singing, the joining in and the performances. He feels good in the relaxed and friendly surroundings; being with people he knows and likes and who include him as part of their group."