Kelly Vincent former MP, advocate, and writer and Alirio Zavarce award-winning actor, director and writer, have partnered to create a new disability-led theatre company, True Ability.
Kelly and Alirio bring a wealth of experience in both disability and the arts. This new venture combines Kelly’s experience in politics, policy, and advocacy with Alirio’s unique methodology in education, consultation and theatre-making. True Ability’s mission is to create professional theatre pieces and film, and to advocate for artists with a lived experience of disability.
Kelly is leading True Ability in collaboration with Zavarce who is the former Artistic Director of No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability.
“I am excited to co-lead with Alirio”, says Vincent, ” because he has a strong and proven ability to work with disabled artists in a respectful and genuine way. Alirio is able to meet people where they are and assumes competence, drawing personal stories and talents out of people, no matter what their communication style or physical or learning challenges.”
Zavarce is clear in his vision for the company:
“We want to create, advocate and bring a new perspective, a new alternative to the artistic landscape of theatre in Australia. True Ability will create new works that are strong and relevant to our times.”
Vincent will take on the role of Creative Director, combining writing and broader artistic input with policy development and advice on best practice in access and inclusion.
“Although there are great disability arts organisations in Australia, many of them do not have disabled people in leadership positions to truly represent disabled artists and audiences alike: that has to change, and I am excited to be a part of that.”
True Ability’s first project is appropriately exciting: Vincent and Zavarce are collaborating on a first stage creative development to re-imagine Robert Hewett’s 1983 play Gulls. This work will be funded by the Arts SA Richard Llewellyn Deaf and Disability Arts Program.
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