‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble
A performing arts program supporting people with disability to build skills, create, collaborate and show self-devised performance art.
Incite Arts has produced Arts & Disability Performing Arts programs since 2005, nurturing and supporting relationships between mentoring artists, performers and disability service providers. The quality and quantity of time spent together has forged strong bonds of trust, creating a space in which to share stories and connect deeply with others.
At the beginning of 2013 Incite initiated the formation of ‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble, a group made up of a core of 11 people with disability (female, male, aboriginal and non-aboriginal) from 18 to 52 years old. The group was formed as a response to feedback from the highly acclaimed 2011 production ‘Close to Me’. Some performers wanted to continue as a group to build skills, create and perform self-devised performance theatre.
‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble continued to work with ‘Close to Me’ Director and mentor, Kat Worth and Incite mentoring artists to produce their inaugural theatre work ‘Somebody Everybody’ in 2013.
The show was the result of a four stage creative development process in 2012 and 2013. Beginning as an exploration of ‘home’ in response to the artists missing their families and homes while living away during school time, the work then expanded on the theme of ‘loss’ to explore all sorts of lost things including loved ones, pets and memories and the sorts of things we all lose at some point in our lives.
Told through sound, dance, movement, props and visuals, ‘Somebody Everybody’ was extremely well received by audiences and enriched each participant’s performance experience, further inspiring the ensemble to devise and produce new bodies of work.
In 2014 Ensemble members, Tiffany Malthouse, Brandon Williams and Martin Armstead collaborated with Kat Worth and Incite artists/mentors to create the short dance film ‘Meet You at the Edge’. Brandon and Tiffany were proudly able to present the film premier at the 2014 Arts Activated Conference, Sydney.
Tiffany was the NT representative selected to attend the 2014 Arts Access Australia and Weave Movement Theatre intensive workshops with UK based artist Caroline Bowditch (An Australian leading the way in disability-led arts practice both in Australia and internationally).
In 2015 ‘stArts with D’ engaged in two key skills development projects. One with Michelle Ryan, Artistic Director of the internationally recognised company ‘Restless Dance’, a leader in arts and disability dance in Australia. The other was with Katie Keys, writer and poet (aka Kate Larsen, Director of Writers Victoria). Along with local mentoring artists, ‘stArts with D’ explored new dance and choreographic skills and new artform skills with literary expression, through creating and combining poems with photography.
‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble have been and continue to be significant contributors to UNBROKEN LAND. These events saw performers presenting solo works for the first time. Ensemble members continue to take new leaps in building their skills and performance capacity with the support of dedicated artists/mentors.
On the ‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble
“There is a sense of camaraderie and friendship that has grown over time amongst this group. The delight and elation as they enter the rehearsal room each day is priceless and a joy to observe.”
Philomena Hali, SE Project Officer, costumes & set assistant
On the experience of ‘Somebody Everybody’
“I love this show because it’s good fun. We practice lots and lots. It’s special to me because it tells my story of loss.”
Tiffany Malthouse, stArts with D Performer
“Thank you for the honesty of everyone’s performance and for the beauty of togetherness. It was magical.”
‘Somebody Everybody’ Audience Member