A Production in the Making

Theatre performance created by and with self-advocates supported by the Community Living Society and based on research from the UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship.

This performance confronts misconceptions about adults with intellectual disabilities and challenges audiences to think differently about how we value, respect and support self-advocates’ rights to romance and intimate relationships.

“Whether or not people live with a disability or limitations, we all have the right to a relationship, to say no, to take action, and the right to friendships and to romance.

~ Larissa Gunkel, Actor & Co-Creator

This company’s theatre based approach brings together self-advocates to develop scenes based on themes and issues they face in their lives. Dr. Leyton Schnellert, Co-Director and Co-Producer described the experience as “social justice theatre by the community, for the community.” In the Fall, workshops were available for self advocates to develop their acting skills and then in January they identified the key topics and issues they wanted to address. Through facilitated activities, the Company created scenes, the dialogue within them, and Romance, Relationships, and Rights was born!

Undergraduate students, graduate students and theatre professionals co-facilitated the development of the theatre piece and mentored self-advocate actors and technicians. UBC student and Assistant Stage Manager Catherine McLaren noted, this invigorating collaborative experience has shown me how accessible and adaptable theatre can and should be.”                                         

Actor/co-creators viewed Real Talk films (www.real-talk.org) to clarify the direction of their scenes. The films also serve as transition pieces within the production.