Trasna Na Líne: Seminar in Malmö: Academy – and for what?

On January 29 2020 a seminar was held at Moomsteatern in Malmö introducing the following:

Academy – and for what?

We gathered three of the theatres from Trasna Na Líne/Crossing the Line, to talk about how they have chosen to recruit and educate their actors. What challenges do they face and what are their future plans?

Jonathan Meth, project dramaturg, moderated a conversation between:

Petal Pilley, artistic leader of Blue Teapot Theatre from Galway, Ireland. Blue Teapot is a multi-award winning Theatre Company at the forefront of arts & disability in Ireland. They have their own Performing Arts School for people with intellectual disabilities. They will also host the Crossing The Line Festival in May 2020.

Annabelle Mailliez, development officer at Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche in Roubaix, France. Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche is a professional theatre troupe made up of 23 actors with learning disabilities. Each production is the result of an artistic encounter between an invited artist and the actors he or she chooses to involve in their creation.

Per Törnqvist, artistic leader at Moomsteatern in Malmö, Sweden. Moomsteatern has been employing actors with learning disabilities for more than ten years, and working in the field of professional theatre for even longer. Since the higher education system is closed to people with learning disabilities in Sweden, they have found ways of educating actors in-house.

Are we ready for change?

Moomsteatern wants to be a resource for other theatres to work with inclusive arts. But are other theatres at all interested in being inclusive? As the Swedish art field is working towards a larger diversity on our stages, will this include artists with disabilities? What are the obstacles and possibilities? What structures would need to change?

Kjell Stjernholm, coordinator at Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan and the founder of Moomsteatern, moderated a conversation between:

Kajsa Giertz, Artistic director & CEO at Helsingborgs stadsteater,

Tanja Mangalanayagam, project manager Dialog at Skånes Dansteater.

Barbara Wilczek Ekholm, senior lecturer at Malmö Theatre Academy, University of Lund.

Sandra Johansson, executive manager at Moomsteatern.

Jonathan Meth, freelance project dramaturg for Crossing The Line and based at Goldsmiths, University of London.