Crossing The Line

Crossing the Line is a partnership of six theatre companies across Europe, all leaders in the field of working with learning disabled artists. Crossing the Line Festival brings these companies together in an online theatre festival, celebrating inclusive art and artists with learning disabilities. This has been made possible due to the project Trasna Na Líne, funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

 

  • The online festival showcases more than 25 events – including theatre performances, documentaries, talks and feature films – from the six companies across six European countries. It is hosted by Theater Babel Rotterdam.

 

  • The main language of the festival is English and performances in French, Swedish, Dutch and Polish will be subtitled in English.

 

  • All events in the online festival are free of charge, but you have to book a ticket. You do this by clicking on the event you want to see and then click the button that says Get Tickets. It will take you to a booking page where you fill in your name and email address. When your booking is done you will receive an email with a personal link to the event.

 

About the partnership:

The Crossing the Line partnership consists of Moomsteatern in Sweden, Compagnie de l’Oiseau Mouche in France,  Mind The Gap in The United Kingdom, Blue Teapot Theatre Company in Ireland, Theater Babel Rotterdam in The Netherlands and Teatr 21 in Poland.

 

Artistically led and committed to meeting the new challenges of producing and touring theatre made by learning disabled and non-disabled theatre makers, their aim is 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 a showcase festival.

 

The partnership was founded in 2014 when Moomsteatern, Compagnie de l’Oiseau Mouche and Mind The Gap joined together to carry out the first Crossing The Line project over a time period of 2,5 years, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The project culminated in the first Crossing the Line Festival, in Roubaix 2017. The same three companies have since worked together in the project Ogmius, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme.

 

Moomsteatern, Compagnie de l’Oiseau Mouche, Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Theater Babel Rotterdam and Teatr 21 are joined together in the partnership project Trasna Na Líne, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme. Crossing the Line Festival is an important part of the project and was originally to be hosted by Blue Teapot Theatre Company in Galway, Ireland, as part of the European Capital of Culture 2020. The festival in Galway had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and since then the theatre companies have been working towards bringing the festival online instead – now built and hosted by Theater Babel Rotterdam.

 

So here it is – the online Crossing the Line Festival! Please join us to watch a wide range of professional performances celebrating inclusive art and artists with learning disabilities.

Crossing The Line is a cooperation between:

Moomsteatern


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.




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.




L’Oiseau-Mouche


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.




Blue Teapot


Blue Teapot is a multi-award winning Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Outreach programme for people with intellectual disabilities at the forefront of arts & disability in Ireland. We are committed to high quality theatre, training and the celebration of creativity.

Our mission is to effect positive change in public consciousness concerning people with intellectual disabilities through the medium of theatre, allowing our members inherent talent and creativity to speak for itself.




Theater Babel Rotterdam


Theater Babel Rotterdam is the only professional theater company in the Netherlands that embraces ‘the other’. Babel works inclusive, with people you’ll recognize and people you’ve never seen or met before. Babel works towards a world where we understand one another. Where speech confusions are pronounced. Where misunderstanding is translated through imagination.

Our company is formed by actors with and without a disability, we call them our regular actors and our guest actors. In this inclusive collaboration they work together with professionals developing their skills on different levels. On a daily basis they train together in the morning and rehears or perform in the afternoons. Babel produces professional theater productions as well as educational theaterproductions.

Paul Röttger, general director as well as theater director of the company, is currently preparing our new production ‘Romeo’s & Julia’s’ that will premiere in spring 2022. More info on Paul Röttger can be found paulrottger.nl. During the digital festival you’ll be able to enjoy three productions directed by Paul : ‘From J to Jessica’,'Piazza Della Vita' and ‘I through the other’. A full overview of inclusive theater productions directed by Paul can be viewed here.

Theater Babel Rotterdam, started through a collaboration between the former ‘rotterdams centrum voor theater’ and ‘Pameijer’. Since January 2016 the company is funded by the city of Rotterdam as the first inclusive professional theater company in the Netherlands.

More info : www.theaterbabelrotterdam.nl




Teatr 21


Teatr 21 is a theater company whose actors are mainly people with Down syndrome and autism. During the 16 years of its activity, the group has created more than a dozen plays, presented in theaters and institutions all over Poland. The group has performed at national (Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Krakow) and international festivals (Prague, Berlin, Helsinki, Freiburg). In 2021 Teatr 21 was awarded with Paszport POLITYKI award in "Theatre" category. Apart from artistic activity, Teatr 21 is also engaged in education, pedagogy of theater, publishing activity, organizes conferences, lectures and works in international networks.

Currently, Teatr 21 is working on a project of the Centre for Inclusive Arts, which will be the first social institution of culture in Warsaw entirely dedicated to the work of artists with disabilities. Its main task will be to include various social groups in the field of art, culture and science. There will be, among other things, meetings with artists, workshops for families and the elderly, lectures on disability studies and art of people with disabilities, exhibitions of visual artists and many others. The space itself and all events will be adapted to the needs of people with various disabilities. In addition, the Centre for Inclusive Arts will become the permanent home of Teatr 21, which has had to operate without a venue for 16 years. The Centre for Inclusive Arts program is co-financed by the City of Warsaw.




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. Project Dramaturg tasks:
– Custodian of the total project vision. – Asks whether all partners are getting and providing what they want. – Ensuring the art and the money synthesise. – Making connections across the project and looking beyond it. – Tracking and documenting what happens artistically, feeding into Project management reporting and hopefully strengthening the Partnership. – Help to build a more developed network interested in the work generated across the three companies, as a way of extending the reach and impact of what it is we do. – Communicate with Key EU funders and policy makers and other organisations working in this field, connecting where possible with European and wider international opportunities. – Produce an evaluation report on the project, tailored for key stakeholders.




Creative Europe


Trasna Na Line, as well as the first Crossing The Line project, has been made possible thanks to the EU Creative Europe fund.




Erasmus +


The project Ogmius has been made possible thanks to the EU Erasmus + Programme.





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