Extant provides a programme of shows with a cast of visually impaired actors and performers, opening up this world of talent and creativity to the rest of society.
This dynamic and creative space aims to increase representation of visually impaired people in the arts, through performances (multiple formats from traditional stage settings through to high tech installations) but also through facilitation of training programmes.
One of these programmes is No Dramas. A monthly drama club for visually impaired adults over the age of 18. The workshops provide employment opportunities for visually impaired arts professionals, as well as a fun way to network, socialise and exchange information and life skills to further boost employment prospects.
No Dramas is run both online and in person and facilitated by visually impaired and sighted facilitators. This adds a threefold benefit to the project:
• Visually impaired participants gain social and employment skills.
• Visually impaired facilitators are presented with further sustainable, paid employment opportunities with Extant as well as overall boosting their skills in facilitation.
• Sighted facilitators have an opportunity to put their training in practice but crucially developing their skills and confidence in making their work accessible. This in turn tackles prejudice and opens up more training and social opportunities for visually impaired people.
No Dramas started as a pilot programme in 2019. During the Pandemic the programme moved online, reaching many more people. The demand for the online sessions remain so high that Extant is offering hybrid sessions.
Feedback from participants shows that there is huge demand for this programme, with some saying:
“It was such a big confidence boost, and I used some of the skills that we’ve been learning in impro in the audition. I just don’t think I would have had the confidence to do anything like that before.”
“As a visually impaired artist and a creative working in the arts there is not loads going on at the moment, so it keeps the creative juices flowing.”
For more information about Extant and No Dramas visit the website.