May 13, 2017Artistically led and committed to meeting the new challenges of producing and touring theatre made by learning disabled and non-disabled theatre makers.
Crossing The Line is a network of six European theatre companies: all leaders in the field of working with learning disabled artists. The network was founded in 2014 when the three theatre companies Moomsteatern in Sweden, Compagnie de L’Oiseau Mouche in France and Mind The Gap in UK joined together in a co-operative partnership to carry out the first Crossing The Line project over a time period of 2.5 years (Dec 2014 – May 2017), co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Crossing the Line’s new programme, with the additional partners is called Trasna Na Líne.
Artistically led and committed to meeting the new challenges of producing and touring theatre made by learning disabled and non-disabled theatre-makers, Crossing The Line allowed the three companies to bring their artists together to learn from and with each other; engage with creative and audience development processes; develop connections with a wider network of European theatre companies with a focus on learning disabled artists; and create 3 new productions – which culminated in a showcase festival in Roubaix in January 2017.
Moomsteatern is a professional theatre company based on actors with learning disabilities, on stage often integrated with non-disabled actors. The theatre was established in 1987 with the expressed goal to work with artistic objectives, banning all therapeutic and social aims. The sole aim of Moomsteatern is always to produce performing arts of high artistic quality. Seven actors with learning disabilities are employed on a full-time basis with salaries and conditions of employment based on the collective agreements relevant to the performing arts. They are trained at the national Theatre Academy and members of the Swedish Actors Guild. Moomsteatern is based in Malmö, Sweden and has been internationally celebrated for its courage and artistic integrity.
Crossing The Line is nationally funded by Kulturrådet (the national Swedish Arts Council) and Region Skåne (the regional Arts Council of Skåne).
Mind the Gap
Mind the Gap is England’s largest learning disability theatre company that creates work for UK and international audiences. Their vision is to work in an arts sector where there is equal opportunity for performers with learning disabilities: a world where performers are trained, respected and employed equally, and feature every day on our stages and screens. Mind the Gap work in partnership with learning-disabled artists to deliver a bold, cutting-edge and world-class artistic programme that impacts locally, nationally and internationally. Work that excites, surprises and challenges audiences.
Their aim is to make great theatre that makes audiences think differently. By “theatre” we don’t just mean shows that you can see in arts and theatre venues, but also performances and events in different spaces and places. The Mind the Gap team includes a Board of Trustees, Staff Members, Associate Artists, Resident Artists, Ambassadors, Students and Volunteers. Mind the Gap was formed in 1988 by Tim Wheeler and Susan Brown and is based in Bradford.
Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche is a permanent professional theatrical troupe made up of 23 actors, all of them individuals with a learning disability. Unequalled and unusual, the project remains unique in France. Each creation is the result of an artistic encounter between an invited artist and the actors he or she chooses to involve in this collaborative adventure. As of today, 45 theater performances have been created and performed over 1,600 times in France and abroad. Since June 2001, Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche is based at Théâtre de l’Oiseau-Mouche in Roubaix, Northern France, a venue designed by and for Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche. Each and every season, the theatre opens its doors to other artistic teams on the basis of an active partnership with the troupe. Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche is accredited and supported by the Ministry of Culture and sustains strong partnerships with local governments.
Crossing The Line has been made possible thanks to a grant from the EU Creative Europe fund.
The Creative Europe programme has two sub-programmes, Culture and Media, in addition to a cross-sectoral strand. Under the Culture sub-programme, opportunities exist for:
- Cooperation between cultural and creative organisations from different countries;
- Initiatives to translate and promote literary works across the European Union;
- Networks helping the cultural and creative sector to operate competitively and transnationally;
- Establishing platforms to promote emerging artists and stimulating European programming for cultural and artistic works.
Jonathan Meth, Project Dramaturg
Jonathan Meth is a freelance Project Dramaturg for Crossing The Line. He has a base at Goldsmiths, University of London where there is a theatre and disability focus in the Theatre and Performance Department as well as a cross departmental Disability Research Centre. This project is feeding into staff teaching and student learning.