June 2007 - August 2007: Issue 23

News And Notes

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Festival Round Up

Disability arts seem to be proliferating around the world. Below is a sampling of international festivals taking place in the coming months.

Assim Vivemos - Brazil's 3rd International Disability Film Festival

August 7-19, 2007 in Rio de Janeiro and September 11-23 in Bras'lia at the CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil/Bank of Brazil's Cultural Center).

The main objective of the festival is to encourage new ways of seeing special needs and disabilities and stimulate discussions about inclusion of disabled people in society.

For more details visit www.assimvivemos.com.br.

Lara Pozzobon - Producer
Assim Vivemos - Brazil's 3rd International Disability Film Festival
Lavoro Produções
Rua Bartolomeu Portela, 50/106
Botafogo - Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
CEP: 22290-190
Telephone: + 55 21 2527-0367
Tel/Fax: + 55 21 2286-9699
E-mail: festival@assimvivemos.com.br
Web site: www.assimvivemos.com.br

Fringe and Degenerate 4 - Scotland's International Disability Arts Festival

August 9-18 in Edinburgh during the International Fringe Festival

Presented by Theatre Workshop and underwritten by the Scottish Arts Council

Theatre Workshop Edinburgh is a leading European inclusive company. Its aim is to produce theatre that is well crafted, moving, challenging, beautiful, accessible and honest.

34 Hamilton Place
Edinburgh, EH3 5AX
Box Office tel: 0131 226 5425
Admin tel: 0131 225 7942
E-mail: info@theatre-workshop.com
Web site: www.theatre-workshop.com

European Festival - Success and Handicap 2007

October 16-27 in Versailles, France

This Festival is presented by O.R.P.H.É.E, a French association dedicated to promoting disabled people's access to artistic works of theatre, dance, music, plastic arts and writing.

Association O.R.P.H.É.E.
5, Petite Place
78000 - Versailles - France
Phone/Fax: 01 39 51 19 27
e-mail: adapei.78@wanadoo.fr, contact@orpheefestival.com
Website: www.orpheefestival.com

Abilities Arts Festival

October 25 - November 4, 2007 - A 10-Day-long celebration of Disability Arts and Culture, Toronto, Ontario Canada

This is a disability arts organization that Abilities Arts Festival uses art as a vehicle for transforming public perceptions about people with disabilities and showcases artistic excellence by artists with disabilities. Abilities Arts Festival is proud to present this 10-day long multidisciplinary arts celebration showcasing artistic excellence and the talent, artistic vision, passion and creativity of artists with disabilities. Using the power of art both as a unifying and as a transformational media, Abilities Arts Festival seeks to engage people in the arts, while facilitating diversity, inclusiveness and participation in the arts by people with and without disabilities.

Abilities Arts Festival - A Celebration of Disability Arts and Culture
70 Rosehill Avenue, Suite 608
Toronto, Ontario Canada
M4T 2W7
Telephone: 416-966-0393
Fax: 416-966-1047
Email: info@abilitiesartsfestival.orgphone: 416-966-0393

Independence Starts Here! Philadelphia's First Disability Arts Festival

October 18-November 20, 2007

More than 50 organizations will participate in the month-long Festival that will feature performances of dance, music and theatre; poetry readings; lectures; readings from new books by writers with disabilities; art and historic/cultural exhibits; workshops for children and adults and the dedication of a major new mural at Broad and Race Streets, the Avenue of the Arts, on the theme "Independence Starts Here," and featuring Philadelphians with disabilities.

A complete list of events, artists, accessibility and other features will be available on the Festival website www.independencestartshere.org after June 1. More information is available from Festival Co-Chairs Mimi Kenney Smith at VSA arts of Pennsylvania at mksmith@amaryllistheatre.org or Michael Norris of Art-Reach, Inc. at mnorris@art-reach.org.


CBS Diversity Institute Writers Mentoring Program

CBS Entertainment is wrapping up its fourth session of the CBS Diversity Institute's Writers Mentoring Program and is now accepting applications for year five, 2008. The CBS Writers Mentoring Program is a program for new and emerging diverse writers -- with a focus on writers of color. The Program is not a traditional "writers training" program, but a combination of meaningful opportunities for talented new writers to experience the network television business from the inside and to form relationships with decision makers.

The deadline for 2008 submissions is June 1, 2007. Additional information and application materials can be accessed at www.cbsdiversity.com


2007 Danceability Teacher Certification

Presented by Alito Alessi, founder of DanceAbility and ImPulsTanz - Vienna International Dance Festival. Learn how to teach or lead mixed-abilities dance, movement, and theater groups. Training includes:

The four-week training will take place in Vienna, Austria July 16-August 10. Contact information:

Joint Forces Dance Company
Phone: 541-342-3273
Impulstanz Vienna Dance Festival
Phone: +43 1 523 55 5813

Film Starring Disabled Actors Makes History

For the first time in cinema history two African American actors with a developmental disability (Down Syndrome), are playing leading roles in a feature motion picture. The film, "My Brother," opened in March across the country and is now available on DVD. It tells the story of two impoverished boys and their bond of love for each other. One brother is developmentally disabled, and the other struggles with being told by his mother to always watch over his sibling. "My Brother" has received more critical acclaim and awards than any other African American film, with the exception of Spielberg's "The Color Purple," made in 1985. For more information about the film go to http://www.mybrotherthemovie.com.


Play Features Integrated Cast And Audio Description

The Coterie Theatre of Kansas City, Missouri recently presented"The Country of the Blind," a play said to be a "theater first" in which audio description is integrated into the script, giving both non-sighted and sighted audiences full access to the performance. The love story was co-produced by Accessible Arts and directed by Martin English, director of Accessible Arts and a member of the Opening Stages Editorial Board. It has a mixed ability the cast that includes a blind actress and a visually-impaired actress. The play was written by Frank Higgins, who credits English with having the unique idea of making the audio describer a character in the play -- The Storyteller.

"The Country of the Blind" was the third in Coterie's Preteen/Young Adult Series and was produced with funding provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council and AbilityArts. Accessible Arts is a non-profit agency established in 1988 to champion the arts for children with disabilities and advocate access to the arts.


Acting Fellowships At The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company provides a unique opportunity for up to eight actors to participate in our full season of plays. Acting Fellows comprise the non-equity ensemble for most or all of our mainstage plays, serve as understudies, and receive training in text, voice, speech, Alexander Technique and stage combat. The Acting Fellowship is geared toward early-career actors with at least a bachelor’s degree or similar training in theatre. The Shakespeare Theatre Company is holding auditions in June in DC. To apply, please send your headshot and resume to:

Acting Fellowships
516 Eighth Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Information: call our Education Hotline at (202) 547-5688 or www.ShakespeareTheatre.org/education/training/fellowships