On July 25, 2020, Barrier-Free joined forces with Blue Apple Theatre to share a co-presented "hands across the ocean" workshop. Blue Apple Theatre is a non-profit company in the UK that "produces high-quality theatre, dance and film to challenge prejudice and transform the lives of people with a learning disability."
Similar to Barrier-Free, Blue Apple's programming has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis in our world. These shutdowns didn't stop Blue Apple Theatre's artistic director, Richard Conlon, from getting creative and seeking new opportunities for his actors. Richard began contacting inclusive theater companies from around the world, and in his research he found Barrier-Free! Richard, Britt, and Lauren began communicating via email and set-up a Zoom meeting to lay the groundwork for co-presented theatre workshop.
The video shows the full 75-minute workshop, but if you're short on time, check the video description for time-stamps to different chapters of the workshop for your convenience.
Once the date was set, we needed actors to share in this incredible opportunity. Christopher Anderson, Michael Eaton, Nicole Hurley, Jenny Laatsch, Jared Parrish, and Jen Shillingburg jumped onboard. These Barrier-Free stars committed to two workshop rehearsals, prepared costumes, practiced lines, and more!
On the big day, we spent a fantastic 75 minutes with Blue Apple Theatre, learning about their company, sharing in some of their favorite warm-ups, and hearing speeches and scenes that ranged from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens. Barrier-Free had the opportunity to share our story, inclusive theater process, warm-ups, actor insights, and a modified scene from Cosmic Crime!
We are thankful to Blue Apple Theatre's talented actors for sharing a creative space with us. Using virtual tools, we were able to break down distance barriers and accomplish what may have felt "impossible" just a few months ago. We now have friends and inclusive theater connections across the ocean!
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