Play in a Week & The Freewheelers
Inclusive theatre for disabled and non-disabled creatives
Every year the Nomad Theatre in Surrey puts together an extraordinary theatre event. Groups of learning and physically disabled creatives work with a professional theatre team, Nomads and supporters to create a play in a week. We start rehearsals on Monday, perform on Saturday.
I've been part of five of these shows. The process starts about two months before The Week with a devising workshop. Together we find the story the participants want to tell. I then go away and write a script, incorporating everything I possibly can from the session. During The Week I work beside director Brandon McGuire helping direct and rehearse. The collaborative, supportive energy of the week is propulsive. Connections are made, friendships formed, and people achieve more than they ever imagined.
I've learned more about how to tell a story from Play in a Week than I have from anything else.
Writer-in-Passing with the Freewheelers
I met The Freewheelers during Play in a Week, and Brandon invited me to join them as a writer-in-residence. The Freewheelers have a solid core of members who are used to working together as a company. Through weekly sessions they create and perform theatre, dance, music, spoken-word and video art/ documentary.
I joined them for a term, working with three people who wanted to write scripts for the company. They were a smart, imaginative trio so my role was to encourage, ask questions, push ideas further... and support 'beyond-laptop-and-pen' writing (using storyboards, voice recording, mind-maps etc). Their work contributed to several shows and video pieces.
I really enjoyed my time with The Freewheelers: a talented, generous, playful and dedicated team.