First performance at Park Theatre for specially abled kids: ‘We want to be there for everyone’

Performance of specially abled kids, Picture credit : Jantine Hoekstra/Parktheater

Parktheater has organised a performance for pupils with multiple disabilities for the first time. Four groups from Son’s Emilius School will attend a performance on Monday. Parktheater wishes to further equal opportunities.

Jantine Hoekstra, responsible for education projects at Parktheater, is excited now that she has welcomed the first group of pupils from Son’s Emilius School. “These pupils all have multiple disabilities. That makes for some preparation, starting starts at school itself. Think of special transport, medication and eating schedules. It’s quite a job to get them here.”

Non-verbal

Stilte‘s performance do-re-mi-ka-do is non-verbal, making it accessible to everyone. It uses light, as well as instruments like Boomwhackers, coloured tubes of different lengths with a variety of sounds. “The pupils at Emilius School are all severely disabled. Some children cannot speak or are severely physically handicapped. By using light and sound elements, you can really see the children react. They are extremely happy and focused. After the performance, the children can participate. For example, they are lifted out of their wheelchairs and are allowed to play with the instruments themselves”.

Hoekstra was not the only one surprised by the children’s reaction. Parents of children were also present. “They naturally find it very exciting that their child is going to a performance, but as soon as they see their own child so focused and happy, you see that emotion reflected in the parents as well. Everyone was so happy.”

Opportunity

The theatre company and Parktheater do not want to discriminate. “The performance is accessible to everyone. Not only limited children can go there, regular groups can also attend the show. Organising a show that normally hosts 75 children for a group of 12 is a difference, but it’s all about equity of opportunity. The Parktheater should be there for everyone.”

Source: Studio040.nl

Translated by: Anitha Sevugan

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