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Graeae Showcases Deaf, Disabled, and Neurodivergent Artists For Beyond Initiative

48 creatives were selected and over the past two years this network of theatres.

Graeae Showcases Deaf, Disabled, and Neurodivergent Artists For Beyond Initiative

Graeae, the UK's leading disabled led theatre company, today announces that, on 8 July [at Live Theatre Newcastle, they will be hosting a celebratory event which showcases the artists who have, for the past two years, taken part in their groundbreaking initiative Beyond.

In 2020, shortly after the country went into lockdown, Graeae launched the Beyond programme, in conjunction with 8 partner venues, with the objective of removing barriers and transforming the careers of Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists across the UK.

48 creatives were selected and over the past two years this network of theatres, under the guidance of Graeae, have provided them with development support, advice, training, mentoring and use of creative spaces to take their ideas and creative ambitions to the next stage.

On 8 July, an invited audience, which will include artists, venues and organisations that have worked with Graeae in the past, as well as others who have a track record in supporting Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent creatives, will be given the opportunity to watch both live and recorded work created by a selection of the Beyond artists. Attendees will also have the chance to meet the artists both in person and online.

The Beyond artists stretch across the North, North West, North East, Midlands and South East of England. Since the initiative launched they, alongside the venues that have worked with them, have been through what has been one of the most unrelenting times for the theatre industry, yet they have continued to write, direct, perform, create and build their skills through the pandemic. The event on 8 July will give them the opportunity to present some of the results.

The artists are:

The theatres that have partnered with Graeae for the past two years on Beyond are Octagon Theatre in Bolton, Curve in Leicester, Nottingham Playhouse, Cast in Doncaster, Hull Truck, Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, Live Theatre in Newcastle and Northern Stage in Newcastle.

BEYOND is supported by Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, Sir James Reckitt Charity, Helen Jean Cope Charity and Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust.

Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Creative Learning Director at Graeae, says -

"Beyond was developed during one of the most globally significant and challenging times in our society and for our community and industry. Beyond has thrived because Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists are rightfully at the forefront of a collaborative team, forging practical and accessible practice, to present and platform new voices. May more follow."

Laura Guthrie, Artist Development Manager at Graeae, says:

"It has been a real pleasure and privilege to get to know the artists on the Beyond programme. Each and everyone has continued to create work, dedicate time and skill to developing themselves and their art through incredibly difficult times not just for the theatre industry but for the Deaf, disabled and neuro divergent community. I am delighted we are able to bring these artists together with the Beyond venues and other industry influencers to celebrate their work, talent and tenacity."

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