IT has been a week of dreams and wishes. Alison Richardson, filmmaker Tim Dennis and the ruckus ensemble from Parramatta’s Beyond the Square performing arts program for people with disability spent the week with people in Inverell.
Ruckus itself came for the trip to hone their skills as workshop leaders and encourage locals with a disability to be creative and push beyond their perceived limitations.
The message for the week was dreams, and the results have been inspiring.
Ruckus members, Rachel Sugrim, Digby Webster, James Penny, Audrey O’Connor and Gerard O’Dwyer have Down Syndrome, but none of them chose to define themselves by how they look, or their abilities.
All of them are actors, filmmakers and dancers, and felt their passions define them.
“I think that we are who we are,” Audrey said. “Whether we are different to people out there, but I think others like us should have a fair go. Cause we make our own life. We face challenges, we face everything that’s out there that’s happening around us, and I think that’s important for people with disability like us.”
The group met with students from Ross Hill and Inverell High School, and clients with disability from Connections and Inverell Accommodation Services.
Whether we are different to people out there, I think others like us should have a fair goAudrey O’Connor
The visiting actors have crafted a group performance and film with the Inverell residents that will be on stage for the public at the Inverell RSM Club this evening.
The performance is about dreams, joy, dance, and as ruckus like to say, ‘making some noise’.
Dreams were anything from getting a motorbike, winning a singing competition, and in many cases, longing for a person who has been lost.
Alison has used often asked workshops to record their dreams, but said the answers still give her pause for thought. “I definitely get surprised each time, because a lot of the time, you think it’s going to be materialistic things that people wish for,” she said.
“But a lot of it is about personal connections with others; people that have passed away, or people they don’t see as often and that they’d like to.” Member Gerard O’Dwyer’s enthusiasm and talent were inspiration personified.
He is passionate about what defines him. He felt it is not his disability. “To be honest, I don’t see myself as Down Syndrome. People always said to me that you have to accept it, that it’s part of life, and it is part of life, really. I don’t need anyone to tell me, or to remind me.” He said his theatre and film work make him stronger and his accomplishments as an award-winning actor only serve to validate his feelings.
The public are invited to the Inverell RSM Club tonight at 6pm for a performance with clients from Connections, IAS and the ruckus ensemble.