Disrupting sighted ableism through the art of access in theatre and dance
Lead by three artists, Olivia Muscat (Vic), Zya Kane (Vic) and Alex Craig (NSW), each created and developed distinct new works in theatre and dance centralising the non-sighted perspective.
Olivia examined the power dynamics inherent in forms of blind access which rely on the sighted gaze and through the ambiguity and meaningfulness of audio description investigated the relationship between performer, audience and disabled access.
Zya invited the audience to experience a sensory storytelling installation where aural, visual, tactile, smell and taste elements were interwoven and encountered in and within the space and performance.
Alex presented systems of non-verbal bodily sounds which enable non-sighted navigation and orientation in space and communication between people dancing together and investigates how these systems operate functionally and aesthetically within a creative work.
The showing on 23 October 2022 was followed by an Artist Q + A facilitated by Jonathan Craig, from Arts House’s Creative Advisory Group.
The event was Auslan interpreted by Linda D’Ornay and Marc Ethan.
Sensory warnings included the use of different scents, sounds and tactile materials, instances of total black out, moments of recorded and live spoken words that overlap. Content warnings included Olivia’s work containing personal storytelling and potentially upsetting content regarding ableism.
Disrupting sighted ableism through the art of access in theatre and dance was supported by Arts House CultureLAB 2022-2023, City of Melbourne and Vitae Veritas.
Header image by Carla Gottgens.
Image description: of performer, writer, director Olivia Muscat on stage in a black box theatre. They are seated on floor wearing a hot pink Oodie, with a pale pink eye mask atop their wavy, tied up black hair, and with a make-up brush in their right hand they dab their chin.
DSA 2022 Lead Artists and Collaborators:
Olivia Muscat, writer, performer and director
Zoe Boesen, performer, co-Executive director Loom Arts Management
Hannah Reekie, creative and work support, co-Executive director Loom Arts Management
Brigid Gallagher, dramaturgy
Alex Craig, dancer, choreographer
Jeremy Lowrencev, dancer
Imogen Yang, audio describer and performer
Maysa Abouzeid, consultant
Zya Kane, sensory theatre director
David Baker, performer
Vanessa Nanai, performer
David Hansen, film and projection
Lisa Greenaway, sound design
Jonathan Craig, Artist Q+A facilitator
Nilgun Guven, Artistic Director/CEO Vitae Veritas
Olivia Anderson, Program Manager Arts House
Bart Mangan, Venue Technician Arts House
Tony MacDonald, Production Manager Arts House
Nat, Lighting Design/Operator
Josh Lynzaat, assistant stage manager
Rachel Edward, video documentor
Carla Gottgens, photography
- Disrupting sighted ableism
- Consultancy, Training and Education
- DSA 2023
- Audio described events