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Kelly Vincent and Alirio Zavarce Create Disability-Led Theatre: True Ability

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Kelly Vincent and Alirio Zavarce Create Disability-Led Theatre: True Ability

True Ability, the latest enterprise of AJZ Productions, brings together former MP, advocate, and writer Kelly Vincent and award-winning actor, director and writer Alirio Zavarce in dual leadership of this new and exciting theatre organisation.

Kelly and Alirio bring a wealth of experience in both disability and the arts. This new venture combines Kelly's experience in politics, policy, and advocacy with Alirio's unique methodology in education, consultation and theatre-making. True Ability's mission is to create professional theatre pieces, films and advocacy for artists with a lived experience of disability in Adelaide, Australia and be an exemplar of excellence in arts and accessibility to people around the world.

Kelly is leading True Ability in collaboration with multi-award-winning Theatre-Maker Alirio Zavarce (former Artistic Director of No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability 2016-2020) "I am excited to co-lead with Alirio because he has a strong and proven ability to work with disabled artists in a respectful and genuine way. Alirio is able to meet people where they are and assumes competence, drawing personal stories and talents out of people, no matter what their communication style is or physical or learning challenges." said Kelly

"We want to create, advocate and bring a new perspective, a new alternative to the artistic landscape of theatre in Australia. True Ability will create new works that are strong and relevant to our times," said Alirio

Kelly Vincent is the company's Creative Director, a role which combines writing and broader artistic input with developing policy and advice on best practice in access and inclusion. 'Although there are great disability arts organisations in Australia, many of them do not have disabled people in leadership positions," Kelly continued "to truly represent disabled artists and audiences alike, that has to change, and I am excited to be a part of that."

True Ability's first project is truly exciting, Kelly and Alirio are collaborating on a first stage creative development to Re-Imagine Robert Hewett's 1983 play, Gulls. Funded by the Arts South Australia Richard Llewellyn Deaf and Disability Arts Program.

Mitchell Butel, Artistic Director of State Theatre of South Australia is delighted by True Ability: "I have long admired Kelly Vincent and Alirio Zavarce. I know these great artists will breathe life into and create an exciting new vision for this acclaimed and beloved play from the Australian theatrical canon. The proposed development is ambitious, exciting and needed - both in the diverse ecosystem of our theatre and in how the lived experience of disability is represented on the stage."

"What does it mean to be human? How does a person forge their own identity in a world that views them as infantile, incapable, and perhaps even burdensome? What are we missing out on as a society when we don't amplify, or even hear, the voices of disabled people? These are the questions that Alirio and I want to explore"

Photo Credit: Tony Virgo

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