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Birds of Paradise is 25 years old! To celebrate our quarter-century we’re launching this fundraising drive. Help us continue to champion disabled voices and disability equality – on and off stage – for another 25 years.
Times have changed since 1993: Trainspotting was a novel, yet to be a film; Jurassic Park was a film, yet to be a franchise; UKIP were a fledgling party, yet to…
Since 1993, BOP has been creating opportunities for disabled people:
– to tour as actors to venues from Tron Theatre, Glasgow to Teatro Valle Inclán, Madrid
– to develop creative skills through its Be-BOP and BOP Artists initiatives
– to experience equality as audiences through pioneering ‘Creative Access’, prioritising British Sign Language, audio description and captions in every performance
BOP influences the cultural landscape by putting disabled voices and disabled stories front and centre. Since our inception disabled actors have become increasingly visible on stage and screen in productions that fall outside the ‘disability arts’ genre, such as Sarah Gordy in Crocodiles (Royal Exchange Theatre), our own (Wendy Hoose, 2014) Amy Conachan in Hollyoaks (Channel 4) and Liz Carr in Silent Witness (BBC).
While representation is improving, there is still work to be done – Sally Hawkins has just received BAFTA and Oscar nominations for her portrayal of a Deaf woman in ‘The Shape of Water’. At BOP we question why a Deaf actor was not cast in that role? Our upcoming production ‘My Left Right Foot – The Musical’ challenges this outdated approach to non-disabled actors playing disabled characters, and often winning an Oscar in the process. Just as there remains a need to champion the artistic voices of women or people of colour, BOP feels it is vital to create quality theatre that puts disabled people’s stories centre-stage to challenge stereotypes, widen perspectives and empower the marginalised.
What are BOPs plans?
– Build on our canon of award-nominated work by engaging with creative collaborators, making work that champions disabled voices on a larger scale
– Tour work to even more people in Scotland, the UK and internationally
– Work with theatre creatives and production staff who identify as disabled to build a resource for the sector
– Examine how our BOP Artists model can develop disabled artists of colour and those with other intersectional identities
Deliver Disability Equality Training, consultation support and access audits
Since 1993 BOP has influenced theatre in Scotland and changed the lives of many disabled people – your help will take our vision forward to 2043! In this special year we are asking you to donate £25 to help us create more opportunities for young disabled people to get involved in the arts, bring more unique stories to the stage and support others to embrace equality and Creative Access – we are excited for the challenge and change of the next 25 years!