King Arthur and His Knights is a three-year collaborative partnership with the Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) in Burnaby. It has four components: 1) The creation/production of a full-length show co-written by Niall McNeil, an artist with Down Syndrome (DS), and featuring an equally integrated cast (4 actors with DS, 5 without). It will be presented at two of Canada’s best-known arts festivals, Luminato in Toronto and the PuSh Festival in Vancouver (tbc); 2) Three years of workshops and creative development at the Down Syndrome Research foundation, working with a broad range of the DSRF’s clientele; 3) A pilot residency for an artist with Down Syndrome at Neworld; 4) Outreach/methodology-sharing with local disability arts organizations, Kickstart & Stagedoor/PosAbilities
This collaboration is built on the success of a pilot, our 2011 PuSh Festival co-production, Peter Panties, which DSRF Executive Director Dawn McKenna described as, “the most profound example of creative inclusion I have ever experienced.” This show is commissioned by the Luminato Festival in Toronto (Canada's largest performing arts festival), with support from the National Arts Centre and the Banff Playwrights Colony. We believe the scale of this experiment with creative inclusion and collaboration between people of differing abilities offers enormous opportunities for our partners, our own learning, and tangible potential impact on the performance sector across the country.