Inclusive Education for the Performing Arts in Athens
ISON launched on 2019 and it is the collaboration between THEAMA – Τheater of Disabled People and EXIS – Inclusive Dance Company.
It is an educational facility and a black box theater venue that provides inclusive education and artistic expression in the field of Theater and Dance. It is the first space for inclusive education in the performing arts for disabled and non-disabled artists in Athens.
Inclusive Theater Company
The theatre group THEAMA is the first professional theatre ensemble mainly composed of disabled artists, established in Athens in 2010. They are all members of the Greek Association of Actors, asserting their right to equal representation in the performing arts. THEAMA applies an inclusive concept so actors/performers with no disability are also part of the ensemble, and it operates a Drama Workshop for all aspiring to establish the first of its kind Drama Academy within an inclusive framework for disabled and non-disabled artists. THEAMA contributed actively to revoke a Presidential Decree that was enforced by the Greek Ministry of Culture in the past and prevented disabled persons to enrol and graduate from Higher Drama Academies.
The disabled represent about 9% of the population and as active citizens they have equal obligations and rights. One of the rights they actively challenge is to the right to become professionally acclaimed actors, performers, artists on equal terms.
THEAMA is also proactively engaged in the major challenge of accessibility to the arts. All venues should be accessible for the audiences, and backstage for the artists with mobility disabilities. Similarly, audiences with sensory disabilities have the right to accessible content through captions, sign language and audio description. Mild performances for persons with learning disabilities are also included.
Inclusive Dance Company
EXIS is a professional inclusive dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers based in Athens, Greece. It was founded in 2015 with the aim to include people with disabilities into the dance world.
EXIS Dance Company aims to promote inclusive dance through professional dance projects and performances, to create a site for inclusive dance education and training and to provide access to creativity and artistic expression to disabled people.
At the heart of our values is the acceptance that each body is unique and this sets the basis for building mutual understaning, co-creating and dancing together without losing our personal artistic identity.
By organizing workshops and dance performances, we want to create social awareness and foster equality for disabled people in the field of dance.