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Profile: Decibel Performing Arts Showcase - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Julie McNamara presents Crossings (Theatre and Drama)

Julie McNamara

The cast from Crossings by Julie McNamara

First shown at Dada-Fest in November 2008, Julie McNamara's 'Crossings' focuses on identity and loss, Crossings is an unashamedly feminist piece challenging our notions of sexual liberation and our perceptions of young girls in gangs.

Seen through the eyes of Shelley, 15, pregnant and on the run. Shelley wants out of the gang, but she’s broken the code. We all know you don’t do that.

In a raging storm she seeks shelter on a strange ship. This is no ordinary ship, it’s the ghost of the Zong, a ship berthed in Liverpool with a murderous history. Through the heroic stories of three powerful voices, she encounters on board, Shelley starts her way towards a new path. Julie McNamara's work is disability led, passionately political, experimental and startling in its imaginative leaps.

Julie McNamara says: "I'm excited that they have pushed the boats out to include Deaf and Disabled performers and Disability led work under the diversity umbrella. The teams at Decibel and behind the scenes at the Diversity office have slogged to make this work. I have to say it's the first time I have had my access requirements and that of the entire cast and crew so thoroughly thought through in advance - let's hope it works in practice.

There is some really unique work in the UK leading in the arts and it's interesting to note how much high quality work is emerging from the Disability Arts circuit. I am just disappointed that this is a showcase after all, so we only get to see truncated excerpts rather than the completed work in action.

Crossings is an important piece of work. You don't hear the voices of young women in gangs. I'd like to see this production travel around Youth groups, colleges and community theatres. It needs to travel to the spaces it began in: Ireland, Africa and New Zealand. I'd like to see Crossings performed in Auckland where the research was completed for one of the characters and the original script was blessed by the elders of the Nga Pui - courtesy of Lisa Reihana, a brilliant Maori artist who offered her image of one of the elders as Spirit Mother.

We can all dream. I intend to make the dream flesh."

18 September 2009 at 4.15pm
The Green Room

For information go to the decibel website

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