DESTINY – The Musical is an inclusive, original musical theatre production created by artists with disability. The result of a two-year long project (funded by Accessible Arts and NSE Delinate Arts Grant), it’s showing at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on 6 December 2017 at 7pm.
Creative Arts at Mai-Wel, in collaboration with SB2 Productions, mentored the four artists with disability. We spoke with Steven Burchill Facilitator at the Mat-Wei Group, to find out more about the show and the two years of work that has gone into it…
What’s the storyline of DESTINY – The Musical?
The musical follows the journey of a flawed leading lady. Her dreams are bigger than her world and when given the opportunity, she finds her escape. Dreams are nothing without complication though and when she feels she has it all, she finds that she has nothing at all. DESTINY – The Musical reminds us all that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener and being true to ourselves is what life is all about.
Tell us about the two-year lead up to December’s performance. What did that involve?
The disability led arts project has seen the development of a Creative Committee, who have driven the staging of this original musical theatre production by SB2, mentored by the Mai-Wel Creative Arts team. Their vision and drive has led the last few years through the content development, auditions, rehearsals and all the elements that go into creating a show.
Each member of this creative committee has developed a variety of skills in theatre making that compliments their individual interests and goals. The inclusive nature of the community theatre production has gone a long way to raise awareness and promote inclusive arts in our local area and beyond. Exciting discussions have already commenced throwing up ideas of how to further the success of this project on a wider scale.
How did you recruit the cast?
The cast is an amazingly talented mix of artists with and without disability championing inclusive community theatre for all. The Creative Committee organised auditions in community spaces that captured local talent who would later make up the cast. The diverse ensemble is ten-strong with five principal characters in addition.
Who do you think should come along to Destiny – who would it appeal to?
The goal of Destiny was to create a show that would appeal to any age and any inclination. Its soundtrack is full of a variety of styles that are pulled off with perfection and would entertain the harshest of critics. The storyline is filled with heart, laughs and a colourful range of characters any audience member will be able to relate to.
What has been the best thing about working on this project?
The best part of the working on this project has been witnessing the actualization of a vision. Being a part of its growth and development has been an learning opportunity that will be remembered for future projects moving forward. We think there is really great potential to use this musical production and style of casting for integrative workshops within theatre in education at local schools.
The show will be Auslan interpreted. Sixty seats have been reserved in the first three rows for the Deaf who wish to see the performance, near the loudspeakers so you can feel, see and sense the overall music performance!