Performers with learning disabilities from Winchester’s Blue Apple Theatre are in Brno for an arts festival in the Czech Republic

From May 1-6, they are touring a shortened version of their recent Wizard of Oz production.

The Be IN! festival arises from a collaboration between three European theatre companies for actors with learning disabilities.

The festival is part of a project co-funded by Erasmus+ programme. The work also involves a team of young researchers brought together by Rytmus, a Czech organisation supporting people with learning disabilities to lead enriched lives.

The other participating companies are Czech Divadlo Aldente and Polish Teatr 21. The May festival features a programme of performances and discussion. By return Blue Apple will host our Polish and Czech partners in Winchester during October.

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The aim of the “Be IN!” project is to break down stereotypes through theatre and related activities, show people new perspectives on world vision, arouse in them the ability to think critically, and lead them to self-knowledge and self-development.

Artistic director Richard Conlon said: “We are delighted to be part of this European cross-cultural exchange with the ambition to not only change the world view of learning disability but also to be challenged ourselves and to come back from the Czech Republic with new ideas.”

The festival programme is available at where details of the participating organisations can also be found.

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