The impact of lockdown on our theatre company has necessitated a diversifying of our artistic practice to work with our ensemble via the challenging medium of ZOOM. Continuing sessions has been essential for our actors and their carers/families, and finding ways to springboard potent and meaningful creative interactions with our ensemble during isolation - via the internet - has been critical for us.
Our focus has been to provide purposeful engagement - while comprehending and supporting anxiety around COVID 19 - through creativity. Of paramount importance has been creating a safe environment to address the debilitating social isolation many of our ensemble are experiencing. For some, our sessions are their only form of social interaction outside the home and are crucial for mental health and wellbeing.
The emerging work from our sessions has involved investigating our responses to world leaders as they respond to the global pandemic. The clip we are developing is both a parody and a commentary of this strange moment in time, as seen through the eyes of our actors. Our target audience is within social media platforms (including tik tok and instagram) as we challenge broadly held misconceptions of disability within the vast reach of popular culture.
rollercoaster in education
By expanding the company's practice into arts-in-education, we aim to provide the individual ensemble members with the opportunity to develop their own personal agency, and gain meaningful paid employment opportunities while working within the supportive environment of the company.
Rollercoaster Theatre’s one-of-a-kind primary school program recognises the social responsibility of art and promotes social change by challenging exclusion and marginalisation and by celebrating people of all abilities.
Devised and developed by our ensemble and creative team, this program offers a half hour performance of our work with the ensemble of actors ( for an audience of up to 100 students) followed by smaller, experiential, interactive theatrical workshops led by the ensemble and designed for primary school students from Prep to Grade 2.
Our latest work ‘The Moon to Melbourne’ offers an insight into the world of the astronaut, exploring the vastness and separateness of being outside of ‘normal’ spaces. With each workshop led and facilitated by our actors, this immersive arts experience is designed to engage and encourage children to include and appreciate people of all abilities, while advocating for the skills of people with disabilities by:
· providing a participatory process of learning and engagement which deliberately dismantles barriers between individuals of all ages, cultural, economic and social backgrounds
· positioning people with intellectual disabilities in leadership roles with those who may have had limited interaction with people who 'look' or 'sound' different.
· bringing people together in new and creative ways
· engaging with children before assumptions are formed
Our pilot programs have demonstrated that these workshops address a number of profound social needs, including encouraging the ensembles’ contribution to and connection with people from different facets of the community.