Inclusive theater in Spain shatters stereotypes about disability
Madrid, Jun 14 (EFE).- A theater in Spain’s southern city of Malaga is striving to dispel prejudice towards people with disabilities by presenting socially inclusive plays that challenge stereotypes.
It all started when artistic director of Teatro La Plaza, Chela de Ferrari, met Jaime Cruz, a young Peruvian man with Down Syndrome who worked as an usher in her theater.
One day, Cruz approached Ferrari and told her he had always dreamed of being an actor.
Ferrari had always wanted to present Shakespeare’s Hamlet in her theater, but never found the right actors for it, until she met Cruz.
“We had coffee and that is how the Hamlet project was born, because of the possibilities Jaime offered to the words of Prince Hamlet,” she tells Efe.
The Hamlet play, which premieres on June 15 at the Teatro Valle-Inclán in Madrid, starrs eight performers with Down Syndrome.
“When I go on stage I become another person, the theater has given me opportunities, dreams, longings,” Cruz tells Efe, smiling.
The play is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s original Hamlet and the lives of the performers that often struggle to find a place in the world.
“They are disciplined actors, the most punctual I have ever met, extremely responsible and with a strong commitment,” Ferrari says.
Ferrari is not alone in seeing the potential of inclusive theater and its power to break prejudice in Spain.
Campeones de la comedia, a play that features three actors with cognitive diversity, will premiere at Madrid’s Marquina Theater this week and the first inclusive theater festival took place in Malaga in June.
“The world is a better place because there are people with Down syndrome, cognitive diversity enriches us all,” Ferrari says. EFE