Art above limitations – the first artists of Brave Festival
Let’s get to know Teatr 21 and Nalaga’at Theater. They consist of amazing artists with disabilities, who with the use of art, decided to transform their exclusion.
Intellectual or physical disability are one of the most frequent reasons of social exclusion. The otherness of such people still gives rise to misunderstanding and fear instead of acceptance. Breaking social stereotypes is not easy, but it is possible – and as the activity of Teatr 21 and Nalaga’at Theater proves, art may be the tool. The first announced guests at Brave Festival 2016 are artistic groups with different types of disabilities. At the time of their performances they will tell us why they are stigmatised and show us how they can find positive strength in their exclusion.
Nalaga’at Theater was established in 2002 by Adina Tal and Eran Gur, aiming to integrate deaf-blind people in the society, promote their needs and aspirations and to give them an opportunity for self-expression and realization of their most fundamental right – to contribute to society. Since its opening, Nalaga’at Theater is providing an artistic and social experience that changes perceptions and connects different communities and sectors without distinction of religion, race or cultural background. Nalaga’at Theater invites the public to meet people who are deaf-blind, creative, independent and full of joy that are happy to give the seeing-hearing audience a wonderful gift – the gift of art.
The theater’s first show, “Light is Heared in Zig Zag”, was performing in Israel and around the world, and was hailed by critics and viewers. The second production, “Not by Bread Alone” is still performing today at the Nalaga’at Center in Jaffa Port.
Over the years, Nalaga’at Theater has also produced a successful children play called “Price Rooster“, and an engaging sign languge workshop for the whole family called “Give me a Sign”.
21 Theater from Warsaw is the only theatre in Poland, which is created by actors with Down’s syndrome and autism. It took its name from an additional chromosome 21, which people with Down’s syndrome have.
21 Theater was established in 2005 at the time of workshops at the “Dać Szansę” Special Social School in Warsaw, led by Justyna Sobczyk, a director and teacher. Today the group has staged over a dozen of their own plays. They work on them together from the time when an idea and the script appear until the final stage form. As Justyna Sobczyk emphasises, 21 Theater breaks stereotypes with the use of art.
Their plays are remembered for a long time. Professional actors, well prepared for their profession, have also that something, which enchants and magnetises the audience. With no doubt, they have great passion to do theatre, but also life courage, a skill to value themselves and their otherness as a gift, which is not given to everyone.
Wrocław already knows 21 Theater – they performed at the 10th edition of Brave Festival in 2014.
This year, the group ill present two parts of a theatre series, as the Teatr 21 members call their last spectacles – “Falls. Episode 2” and „Of clowns, i.e. about the family. Episode 3”. This theatre series describes everyday life of the actors and their aspiration for independence. The final part of “of clowns,…” is about how the actors of 21 Theater decide to start a family. The play is carried out in the poetics of a circus, where still at the beginning of the 20th century, human otherness was presented as theatrical show. The actors ask a very important question – what is the way to integrate disabled people in the society today?
The theatre works on a daily basis and stages mostly at the Theatre Institute in Warsaw, but also travels around the country and abroad and takes part in many important festivals.