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Kaite O'Reilly - disability arts online
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Kaite O'Reilly is an award-winning playwright and a recipient of two Cultural Olympiad Commissions. She blogs about writing and the process of writing with a focus on four forthcoming productions, which revolve around disability issues.

‘Cripping up is the twenty first century answer to blacking up.’ Peeling and The ‘d’ Monologues

9 November 2011

Blog

photo of two actresses

Some years ago I received a Creative Wales Major Award from Arts Council Wales, to begin a project I called The ‘d’ Monologues – short dramatic solos written specifically for Deaf and disabled performers. There is a dearth of plays with disabled characters, and when these are produced, the parts are invariably played by non-disabled or hearing actors. Those who know me and my play 'peeling' will know I’m not a fan of this kind of casting. As...

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In Water I’m Weightless: in development...

21 November 2011

Blog

photo of the back of a wheelchair-user turning around to look at the camera. A woman of short stature tands close by

Many text-based productions are straight-forward in content and form: they are interpretations of existing scripts. So what's the process for a ensemble piece using music, design, movement and selected monologues, with a newly-formed company who have never all met, never mind collaborated before? This has been the challenge to National Theatre Wales this week, in development with In Water I'm Weightless, my commission from Unlimited, part of the Cultural Olympiad. We have a sterling cast of...

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Preparations for Unlimited with the 'Cymru Crips'

9 November 2011

Blog

photo of a group of disabled performers

When I received the Arts Council Wales Creative Wales Major Award back in 2008, I spent a year exploring the form of the dramatic monologue, seeing solo work in Europe and the US, meeting and being mentored by experts of the form, like Sara Zatz and Ping Chong Company in New York. I shadowed part of Ping Chong’s 'Undesirable Elements' series, watching testimonial theatre in various school halls and community centres in Brooklyn, the participants/performers using their own autobiographies...

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