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Disability Trust Program

In partnership with The Disability Trust to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a program of activities working with professional theatre artists.

All activities are tailored towards the needs of the participants, enabling them to learn new skills, perform on stage and develop their creative side in a fun and supportive environment.

Altogether Drama and Junior Drama Classes  

We support the Trust’s weekly drama classes for Junior (10-13) and Senior (14 and over) participants. These classes are taught by theatre professionals. The fun and creative program provides opportunities for participants to develop a broad spectrum of skills in performance-making.

In addition, Weekend Workshop Intensives open to participants who attend the weekly classes. Intensives are a fun and creative program of activity offered over two full days, and offer participants the opportunity to learn skills such as clowning, music, costume, film-making, hula hooping, movement, improvising, story-telling and working with video and lighting technology. There is a fee for attendance.

Altogether Drama - End of Year Show

An end of year show involving Altogether and Junior Drama participants is created every second year. The work is created during weekly classes, with extra classes added as show time gets closer. The production aims to showcase the skills and abilities of all participants.

In years when there is no end of year show, participants may present short works as part of The Disability Trust end of year concerts and/or participate in Wollongong’s community festival Viva la Gong.

Professional Theatre Opportunities 

Comprising seven members, The Strangeways Ensemble is Merrigong’s permanent company of professional actors perceived to have intellectual disability, and Wollongong’s only professional theatre ensemble. Premiering in 2020, their new show Trash Talk explores justice in the workplace for people working in Australian Disability Enterprises. Devised with Director Anne-Louise Rentell, and drawing on a hyper-real aesthetic inspired by professional wrestling, Trash Talk takes a gladiatorial approach to human rights and our universal desire for respect and dignity. An unflinching and unmissable start to the Merrigong 2020 Season, the work is also confirmed to tour to Parramatta in February.

Trash Talk is the third original, mainstage work produced by Merrigong Theatre Comapny in association with The Disability Trust, following The Man Who Dreamt the Stars (2014) and The Outside Man (2017) in association with The Disability Trust.

We would like to thank Peoplecare for their support in helping Merrigong engage with young people in the Illawarra by funding projects that create and facilitate inspiring theatre experiences.

Coming Up…