TripleC will run a Youth Theatre based at a popular and well known accessible theatre in Greater Manchester for disabled young people aged between 11 and 20. This will be a weekly term time workshop in the early evening during the week.
There will be two different age ranges - 11 to 14 and 15 to 20. The younger group will be from 4.30 till 6pm. There will then be a 30 minute break then 6.30 till 8pm for the older group. The workshops will be lead by both disabled and non-disabled workshop leaders. There will always be at least two workshop leaders present at any one time, this will ensure that all access needs can be met in a creative way whilst allowing all the group continue to be creatively pushed. The idea is that the young people will learn from and have role models within their group, the concept being that the youth theatre is a safe space to feel creative amongst your disabled peers.
TripleC will invite all youth theatre workshop leaders in Manchester to come and learn a practical, hand’s on way of how to work in an accessible environment. This will also ensure that connections will be made for our participants in case they wish to attend a mainstream youth theatre which is nearer to their family home, as all Manchester youth theatres will then be made accessible to all.
Ensuring all Youth Theatres in Greater Manchester will be offered the opportunity to make this work accessible to all disabilities through this project will have a wider impact than just our Youth Theatre and will greater strengthen the drive for change for people with disabilities accessing the arts on a larger scale. Once our participants feel confident, they will be offered the opportunity to join a mainstream youth theatre nearer their home as the Youth Theatre leaders will feel more confident and better equipped with the right skills to make Youth Theatre sessions accessible.
TripleC will offer a training day for all youth theatre leaders in the Manchester area on how to make their work accessible.
TripleC have many connections within the industry so we have many established artists, actors and musicians who are keen to come and run workshops for our youth theatre members. This is an exciting principle because our accessible method of working will be taken back into the industry therefore making further change. A fully accessible environment means that the creative work will be accessible to all participants. TripleC members have a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to accessibility, especially in the arts. The main principle being that the group itself adapts and accommodates all access requirements; which means if somebody needs an oral or a visual indicator then it is provided through drama, the same for audio description and sign language all within a creative context.
Members of TripleC have taught this method to other youth theatre leaders and organisations over 20 years. The method is simple. We demonstrate how accessibility can be added as a creative layer and an art form within itself.
Disabled young people aren't accessing the arts for two reasons: firstly, because there are very few disabled role models that they are able to see achieving their goals through representation on screens and stages. Secondly, there are a very limited number of accessible workshops available to them. In current circumstances, unless you have a very strong personal drive and the full support from family, often long-term attendance to youth theatres isn't achieved by disabled young people. Young people can often feel ostracized within a drama group they attend as there is no relevant training or guidelines available on how to make work accessible to all.