We responded to a call-out for submissions from dramaturgs to participate in Playwrights Theatre Centre‘s 2015 Playwrights Colony. They said this year’s Colony would focus on an original inclusive design process: “We hope to learn from, creatively support, and cross-pollinate with artists who identify as living with a disability, Deaf, and/or Mad and artists living with labels and/or diagnoses. The five selected artists will join PTC’s inclusive designer Jan Derbyshire, Heidi Taylor, and Kathleen Flaherty to develop their projects. We will follow the inclusive design idea of “one size fits one” to create a development process that suits the needs of each team.” We knew right away this was something we wanted to be part of.
Over an intensive 10 day process, we worked with the playwrights to turn out a new draft (or two) of their full length works. Laura worked with Janet Hinton on her play Aiming to Float, while Christine worked with Adam Grant Warren on Last Train In. Jan Derbyshire worked with Dr. Heidi Janz on Showdown at Cripple Creek. We were supported by Heidi Taylor, Kathleen Flaherty, and Derek Chan.
This was an incredibly inspiring, challenging, and informative process, where we learned about everything from ableist conventions in traditional theatre processes to dram-act-turgy and holding space. We are grateful to have been included in the process, and can’t wait to see what the playwrights do next!