NO DRAMAS FOR LOCAL ACTORS
TWO short plays, created by cast members with various disabilities, didn’t take long to perform at the Neighbourhood Centre in Port Douglas but the show was three years in the making.
Doing Drama began with a government grant and was then taken under the banner of Child and Parent Support at Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre. Support worker and drama teacher Nicole Carnaby worked for three years on this project to put some local young people with disabilities on to the stage. It was a complete success.
The drama group provided a format for people with various challenges to practise life skills such as communication, reading emotions and body language as well as building self-esteem and confidence. All of these factors feed back into their real world experiences.
“From this program we’ve had some people go out and do job interviews in the mainstream workforce, on their own, and land a job. We’ve had others perform for the first time, overcoming severe stage fright. One danced in front of hundreds of people. Another spoke at a national disability conference in front of hundreds.”
Andrea Gard of Mossman came upon the concept of acting as a positive for people challenged by a disability. She obtained the grant money and Ms Carnaby took on the project, which numbered around eight people initially.
Once this grant work was completed, The Neighbourhood Centre and Ms Carnaby continued with the project which culminated in the performance on June 29.
Parents, family and friends gathered in the Neighbourhood Centre to watch the results of lots and lots of hard work by the actors and the producers.
The plays had wit, humour and in one, a good degree of drama and conflict. “It’s their work, and their skills,” Ms Carnaby said.
One parent, Selina Maffey, was overflowing with praise for the program. Her daughter, Angelica, had undergone extreme cardiac surgery only a few weeks before the performance, but remembered her lines perfectly.
“We’d like the community to know how great Nicole has been to achieve this and what they have all achieved,” she said.
This will be the last Doing Drama activity under the banner of Port Douglas Community Service Network and efforts are under way to find a way to continue the program.
Actors with disabilities celebrating their successful show in Port Douglas