Ac­ces­si­bil­ity to arts more than just a ramp

The Peterborough Examiner - - NEWS - JES­SICA NYZNIK EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER JNynzik@postmedia.com

The spot­light will be shin­ing on those who aren’t of­ten in the lime­light dur­ing a tal­ent show at Mar­ket Hall on Thurs­day.

Arts-Abil­ity – Tak­ing the Stage features more than a dozen artists who are dis­abled or face bar­ri­ers to in­clu­sion.

There’ll be danc­ing, poetry, role play­ing, mu­sic and mono­logues.

The show runs from 7 to 10:30 p.m. and is bro­ken into two seg­ments: fam­ily-friendly and ma­ture au­di­ence.

The pro­duc­tion is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort of Mys­te­ri­ous En­tity, Dream Play­ers and the lo­cal Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion

Em Glasspool, artis­tic di­rec­tor of Mys­te­ri­ous En­tity, ini­ti­ated the event.

Glasspool said ac­ces­si­bil­ity to arts and theatre means more than just a ramp into a build­ing.

It’s about get­ting those who’re dis­abled or face bar­ri­ers on stage to per­form, be­cause it’s not as easy as you might think, Glasspool said.

“I think there’s a sense within the com­mu­nity that any­body can do any­thing they want .... I don’t think peo­ple are aware about the huge bar­ri­ers artists who are dis­abled face,” Glasspool said.

Arts-Abil­ity shines a light on those liv­ing with a phys­i­cal or men­tal dis­abil­ity.

The first part of the evening is fam­ily friendly. Then at 9 p.m., con­tent is geared to­ward a ma­ture au­di­ence, with ma­ture lan­guage and sub­ject mat­ter.

Glasspool, who iden­ti­fies as they, will be per­form­ing af­ter 9 p.m., read­ing ex­cerpts from a longer piece cre­ated for Mys­te­ri­ous En­tity.

They’ll be talk­ing about their ex­pe­ri­ences with men­tal ill­ness and trauma, fo­cus­ing on a psy­chotic break they had a year ago. Glasspool will also touch on their child­hood and other life ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It’s got hu­mour in it, be­lieve it or not,” Glasspool said.

Other per­form­ers will also talk about their life ex­pe­ri­ences.

It’s not of­ten an au­di­ence gets to hear from per­form­ers who’re deal­ing with psy­chosis, head in­juries or have Down syn­drome, Glasspool said.

“It’s just not done. So when peo­ple, who are suf­fer­ing or who are deal­ing with those is­sues them­selves, see that, I think it’s a tremen­dously pow­er­ful, hope­ful mes­sage.”

Ad­mis­sion is pay what you can, with pro­ceeds sup­port­ing the artists.

To reg­is­ter for the event, go to www.cmhahkpr.ca/events/artsabil­ity-tak­ing-the-stage

JES­SICA NYZNIK/EX­AM­INER

Em Glasspool, seen out­side Mar­ket Hall on Mon­day, will be per­form­ing at Arts-Abil­ity Tak­ing the Stage on Thurs­day. The event features more than a dozen artists and per­form­ers who are dis­abled or face bar­ri­ers to in­clu­sion.

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