A disability doesn’t have to stop you from doing great things. With that message, 15-year-old Benjamin van de Kerkhof stars in his own theatre show, together with other young people with disabilities from the region.
“You’re so clumsy!” or “You can’t do this.” Just some annoying comments that young people with disabilities hear. The theatre performance ‘Alone’ takes you into Benjamin’s day where he is completely alone.
“This is really cool! This really suits me. The applause really gives me goosebumps,” says lead actor Benjamin, beaming. He has Dandy-Walker syndrome, a congenital brain defect. “I suffer from stimulus processing, so when everyone talks at the same time I don’t know what to do anymore. I also can’t see well,” he explains.
Anyone who thinks that only Benjamin is in the spotlight is wrong. “Even though my role seems very small, I still get quite a bit of credit,” jokes 16-year-old Tijn van Eenennaam, a good friend of Benjamin. He provides the intro to the show.
Benjamin: “I play myself and you have to accept me. I can give people something in a nice way, that’s very nice.” Tijn adds: “I like to talk about my disability.” He has the posture and movement disorder cerebral palsy. “The more people know about it, the more people can understand.”
“It feels very good to be on the podium! Very exciting,” says Jules Moonemans. Problems with his eye and hand coordination do not stop him from shining on stage. “I am more than a disability. I am a person.”
“It’s really going to be a party. I promise you that!”, shouts Benjamin with great enthusiasm. He hopes it sells out. As loud as he can he says, “Everyone should come and see!” The show full of music can be seen on Saturday, February 24 at eight o’clock in the theatre hall of the ‘t Perron community centre in Heeze.
For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez