Cross the Sky Theatre Company is a company of adults with learning disabilities who create new and innovative theatre performances and artwork. Our aim is to give the members of our company an opportunity to share their voice, thoughts and feelings in a public, mainstream arena. We celebrate and raise awareness of the creative talents of people with learning disabilities.
We work in collaborative and co-productive ways and see our work as turning life stories into different art forms. We use improvisation to devise and discover – to devise original performance and to discover the talents of each individual in the process. We start working with people’s strengths using the medium that can most positively support them. This could be music, movement, song, film. The end product will incorporate different elements.
Using improvisational arts activities the group work alongside three professional artists drawing on issues and themes that are relevant to the members. We support the members to develop their creative skills through:
- music, singing and songwriting
- movement and dance
- performance skills
- acting and performing
- film production and direction
- drawing and artwork
Our production this year is themed “The Ugly Duckling”, and is based on the participants’ discussions around similarities and differences and the negatives and positives of both. These discussions have been portrayed over the past months through different artistic mediums. Fundamental to this focus is the participants’ experience of being bullied for being different – and we have found that there can be bullying even amongst those with disabilities.
Through the performance, we will discuss questions such as: What makes you unique? What is the hardest thing you have done? What is a daily challenge? What are you really good at? When ready, we plan to tour the production to up to five small-scale venues in the region including the Civic Theatre in Barnsley.
By joining our company, we hope to help people with learning disabilities:
- develop confidence and self-esteem
- stress relief and management
- unlock creative potential
- develop new skills
- co-operate and work as part of a team
- raise their aspirations
- increase their personal motivation