FCA Commission – Proud and Loud Arts, Theatre Company

Posted on Jan 23, 2017

Proud and Loud update: January 2017

Proud & Loud Arts set out to respond to The Manchester Evening News report, of a 140% rise in reported hate crime incidents against disabled people.

Here’s a brief evaluation of their project supported by Full Circle Arts.

“We worked with 10 artists, who live with a disability label, to research and develop an interactive performance piece for non-theatre spaces exploring difference, disability and stigma. The artists created this work from their personal experiences, and by taking inspiration from Erving Goffman’s – ‘Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity.’

Photo of a person standing stretched out and making a shadow on a white wall.

A disability led community discussion on stigma is important in the current social, political and economic climate. This discussion was a challenging one for all of our artists as we had to confront the stigma that each one of us faces in our daily lives. This was difficult at times as it made the process personal to each artist and often progress on the work appeared to slow down. We learned that some of our resistance to progression was part of our process of understanding, sometimes difficult, personal material. This was amplified as we were conscious that our intention was to share this material in public.

a person caged wearing a black wig and black feathery top

The style of performance we chose was also very different to the work we have done before so the usual markers for success were not available to ease our fears. This is not to say the process was not fun, it was but that challenges and the personal learning curves were often steep.

Creative process video

On reflection we have achieved what we wanted to do with this commission, which is part of a larger project. We are confident that we are asking the right questions of ourselves and our audience to encourage a wider debate on the place of disability labels in society. We have further exploration to do but we are extremely optimistic about the direction we have taken in the project.

photo of a woman sat on the floor in manchester art gallery next to a chair and a mirror

We will continue to pose challenges to enable our work to be provocative.

Proud & Loud Arts employed an experienced director, Tom Hogan and designer Nerissa Cargill Thompson to mentor our research and development process with the aim of enabling our artists to develop new pieces of live art work to the highest possible standard. We set out to share our work with a small invited audience on August 9th and 11th to gain feedback from our critical friends, and professional colleagues. In reality the evening event on the 11th was the event that all of our respondents chose to come to so the 9th was used as an additional rehearsal. The evening sharing was a great success and our audience feedback was extremely positive about what we had produced. This audience also asked some important questions that helped us to develop the clarity of the work before we took it to Venture Arts for our second test performance this time with a public audience.

a person sits on the floor hidden by a sheet. They have a torch under the sheet so they are lit up

These performances first to people we knew and then to people we are less familiar with provided important learning points for each of our artists to take forward to our development and performance at Manchester Art Gallery.

a man exercises wearing a t-shirt with an image of muscled chest on the front

The feedback from the audience who saw the work at the two venues was positive with many commenting on the powerful nature.

a man sits in manchester art gallery wearing a white suit

The resulting conversation highlighted and explored how each artist responded so differently to the brief and it was this variety in the interpretation of the brief made the experience of the performance work so interesting.”

Full project evaluation film after Manchester Art Gallery presentation:

 


Update – September 2016

Visit Proud and Loud Arts blog:

 

Cells: A body of work


 

June 2016- Update

Full Circle Arts is delighted to announce the following commission:

Proud and Loud Arts, Theatre Company: An interactive performance exploring difference, disability and stigma.

We are responding to The Manchester Evening News report, earlier this year, of a 140% rise in reported hate crime incidents against disabled people.

Proud and Loud Arts will work with 11 artists, who live with disability labels, to research and develop an interactive performance piece for non-theatre spaces exploring difference, disability and stigma. The artists will create this work from their personal experiences, and by taking inspiration from Erving Goffman’s – ‘Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity.’

About the author

Jade Cole

Jade Cole

Jade is our Supreme Digital Social Media Overlord. She does most of our social media stuff, all our main website stuff, looks after our artists on the phone, writes our newsletter, and she tends to tweet and blog a bit more than the rest of us. (Jade likes wine tasting in her spare time).