Kate Hood

Artistic Director’s Thoughts…

Raspberry Ripple was born as a response to the great hole in our theatre industry. Nowhere could I see a disability-led theatre company – let alone one actively bridging the gap between Disability and Mainstream performing arts.

And what a gap it is!

There is a great reluctance in Australia to acknowledge that disability is simply part of the human condition, and that performers with disability can add a dimension that has never been seen before. I believe that disability and diversity can actually make the work better!

The experience of working with disabled and non-disabled performers has shown me that everyone has some experience of disability – in their family, working life, or just around them generally – but it is not widely acknowledged that one in five people live with a disability of one form or another.

In Australia it is common practice to have disabled characters played by able-bodied actors.

At Raspberry Ripple, we want to change this. We want to tell stories that have not made it to the stage before. And we want to use a combination of disabled and able-bodied actors to do it. Why? Because in life we breathe the same air all the time.

The tenacity, grace and natural creativity of disabled artists – also the openness and curiosity of the non-disabled artists we work with – gives me confidence that the future of our industry is in good hands.

To quote the extraordinary Jo Verrent, we want to ‘boldly go where everyone has been before’.