Open Access Training Days

Open Access at the Citizens Theatre was a training project throughout February - June 2013 enabling some of the UK’s top inclusive theatre companies (Oily Cart, Solarbear, Chickenshed, Graeae, Caroline Bowditch & Linda Payne, Birds of Paradise and Lung Ha’s) to share their skills with other arts professionals.

Open Access was made possible through funding from Creative Scotland.


Access All Areas - How do we Make That Happen

An informal and FREE event for theatre practitioners interested in making their work as accessible as possible. Those excited by the creative possibilities of working more inclusively with the widest range of participants, and have questions, hopes and challenges they wish to solve, can meet and discuss with other practitioners and together come up with ideas that can be put into action. The agenda of the day will be set by those attending, and there will be the opportunity to hear about the latest upcoming events, projects and performances designed to give Access All Areas.

- performance from Birds of Paradise youth ensemble
- screening of Open Access films by Urbancroft
- light lunch and drinks provided

To book, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Creative Learning Officer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Working with Learning Disabilities or those on the Autistic Spectrum

OILY CART | Thu 7 Feb
Oily Cart is one of the foremost companies in the UK creating theatre for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities or an autistic spectrum disorder. The workshop started with a discussion of participants’ specific issues. This was followed by practical devising exercises to experiment with multi-sensory interactions, developing theatre that does not rely on verbal language.

Deaf Youth Theatre Skills

SOLAR BEAR | Thu 21 Feb
Participants were encouraged to think inclusively and consider the challenges and opportunities that can arise when working with people with a range of communication and/or mobility requirements. Solar Bear looked at how to adapt drama exercises to meet the needs of deaf, disabled and hearing participants and explore performance styles to deliver work that is accessible and artistically liberating.

Ensemble Work in an Inclusive Setting

CHICKENSHED | Mon 25 March
Chickenshed produce theatre which entertains and challenges audiences - and demonstrates that the performing arts belong to everyone. In this workshop the company explored their inclusive creative process and demonstrated how their methodology can be used to open up the arts to people from all backgrounds and abilities.

Inclusive Approaches to Text

Graeae‘s Milton Lopes and David Ellington explored creative approaches to text for hearing and deaf actors/participants. The training aimed to increase the confidence of participants working with deaf and disabled people and to help them recognise the positive aesthetic outcomes of creative access. This was a unique opportunity for participants to be supported to develop creative ways to layer access into their performing arts practice.

Inclusive Practice with people with Physical Disabilities

Caroline Bowditch & Linda Payne | Tue 14 May
Linda Payne and Caroline Bowditch are two Scottish based artists working to recognise and develop talent in disabled people that they come across in artistic settings. Participants learned what inclusive practice means and how to make it a habit in their practice and part of their skill set. This session focussed on giving participants the confidence to develop creative work with people who have a physical disability.

Working with people with Learning Disabilities and Learning Difficulties

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company | Wed 12 June
Led by Lung Ha’s Artistic Director, Maria Oller, participants explored how to set up a workshop and create an ensemble with people with different levels of need - tackle challenges and be patient when things take longer to achieve; discover the acting quality in each individual; find the person behind the disability and forget about the disability and make good theatre.