My guest in this episode is Dan Graham.
He is a Trained Theatre Director + a Disability Arts Advocate with a particular interest. In Access Support for Trained Performing Artists with Neuro – Diverse Disabilities. He myself have a Neuro – Diverse Disability who is also proud to be part of LGBTQI Community as well ,
This does not preclude his interest and passionate support for People with other forms of disability . He has served on the Board of Arts Access Australia in the past . He is Co-Chair of Artists With A Disability Committee for MEAA ( The Media & Entertainment Alliance ) and also serves on their Diversity Committee and on The Hickson Road Committee for Accessible Arts NSW .
He has attended The Director’s Labs in Chicago and LA and the ISPA ( International Society for The Performing Arts ) in New York in 2019 . He completed a Directing Residency at Atlantic Theater Company where he was invited into The Rehearsals of The Mother By Florian Zeller , translated by Christopher Hampton which Isabelle Huppert in Title Role .
Productions he’s directed have included Christie In Love By Howard Brenton , A Kind Of Alaska By Harold Pinter, Wolf Lullaby By Hillary Bell , The Crucible By Arthur Miller etc. He was once asked is there a theme which links the plays he’s Directed and wish to Direct ? He stated there was this being The Outsider . he’s attracted to characters which show all ” Their Vices & Forbles ” .
He likes to say he’s a Method Director . Ironically only in last few years he found out his grandfather set up the first Drama School in his country and was good friends with Stanislavsky.
In his words…
Last year I Directed “ SAM I AM “ a One Man Show by a Deaf Artist . This piece was Autobiographical of the Performer Sam Martin of which I was / Director + Co-Creator . I saw am as it is to be presented around next Easter as part of The Midsumm Festival in Melbourne. This was shown in Sydney to packed houses at Brand X / The Flying Nun in Darlinghurst. Production had been asked to take it to be I. The LGBTQ MELTS Festival in Brisbane in June this year bit this was postponed due to a COVID .
In February this year I completed Stage 1in In a Development for Bell Shakespeare , The Sydney Festival and Accessible Arts NSW of Piece of which I am The Creator and Director . This being “ Mad Or Bad “ . Which investigates Shakespeare’s attitudes In his characters of what we now know a Neuro – Diversity in his plays . Before Development a call out by those presenting parties of which I asked for was a call – out from Australian Professional Performing Artists whom identified as being Neuro – Diverse to get their attitudes to how they see The Australian Performing Arts Industry does + doesn’t support them . Over 60 Artists responded . A common theme was from those the majority who hadn’t disclosed Their Neuro – Diversity were concerned how it would result in them not getting / losing work . They were not asked to provide details of who they were . Neuro Diversity can cover Dyslexia , Depression, Asperger’s , Autism etc . I could be forever to discuss the subject. . I am happy to do so .
Again Covid 19 has delayed Stages 2 and 3 in Development but some form of it hoped take place in 2021 with the full production to be staged in 2022 .
I have also been awarded a Creative Development with Giant Dwarf with Aunty Gayle Kennedy of which I’ll be Director and Dramaturge . This piece will her Autobiographical One Woman Show of which I am currently work on with Gayle .
In March – May I was awarded a Createability Internship ( Create NSW ) at The Sydney Opera House . As part of this I presented a presentation on Access for Performing Artists with a Disability of who They May wish to engage with . After I presented presentation to all The Heads of Departments at The Sydney Opera House I was asked to present said presentation to The Sydney Opera House CEO , Louise Herron
In 2019 ( October ) I was received a Research Fellowship from Create NSW for investigation into the support given by Access Departments in Theatres and Performance Venues in London & Scotland for Artists with a Disability with a special interest in Performing Artists with Neuro – Diverse Disabilities .
I should have stated earlier in 2018 I was selected for The Future Leaders Program run by The Australia Council For The Arts and maintain a close relationship with OZ CO . I have been invited to sit on many panels , job interview committees and I have co run Information Sessions for others applying for the Leadership Programs .
This May I had been awarded a scholarship by Create NSW for me to return to London on Directing / Access Residency at The Globe , from there I was to travel to Dublin with David Bellwood their Head of Access to co present a seminar at the Access/Inclusion Conference run by The Kenedy Center ( USA ) . Covid 19 again prevented me going overseas this year like so many others in The Performing Arts .
These last few months I have been doing quite lot of work wearing my Access Hat . These have included being Head of Access for Antipode Theatre Companies Winter Retreat where Ive been able to help Artists RE their Access Needs as well discuss with Their Artists how they can make their work Accessible for Creatives/Crew as well as their Audiences. I also presented via Zoom a Seminar on Access for Trained Artists with a Disability ( 1/5 Directors of Lab Invited to present a Seminar via Zoom for Directors Lab Med for I was to attend in Barcelona again this had to take place via Zoom . And finaly I have been asked again via Zoom to give a talk followed by a Q&A of what is to be a Professional Artist with a Disability as part of Midsumma Pathways Artists With A Disability Program .
In these past two weeks on Scholarship, I took part in The Virtual Trip to Argentina of THE JDCENTWINE for Young Jewish LGBTQ Young Professionals. And this week as part of Residency for SAM I AM . Both Sam Martin and I will via Zoom be Interviewed on the subject of Access in The Performing Arts in Australia l
As well above I have been accepted / selected The Israel LGBTQI Ambassadors Program . This be doe Via Zoom as those whom are to be part of Program come from all over the world .