Cutting Edge Theatre cast in rehearsal 2024Suzanne Lofthus, Artistic Director of Cutting Edge Theatre in Edinburgh tells us how a 'Come on in' microgrant from Creative Lives helped the group support learning disabled cast members.

"The grant from Creative Lives enabled us to bring in one of our Associate Artists who is experienced in working with disabled people, to support two of our cast members who are learning disabled.

Having her in the rehearsal room meant the cast members felt safe, able to connect with other cast members (which is a big thing for them), able to express themselves creatively, learn lines and improve their acting skills. 

We noticed a big difference in one of our cast members who struggles with shyness, she is now super keen to have more lines and is learning how to be part of the cast and not just sit on the sidelines. Not only is she growing in confidence and improving her vocal abilities, but she is making friends and connecting with those who are much older than her. All these skills are helping her be more socially connected and she has started to travel a bit more independently, has her first bank card and attended an awards dinner with us. She was so confident that she actually ran to the stage to collect the award by herself before we could reach it! 

We are also expanding our work by welcoming our first deaf actor into the cast so that we integrate BSL into the play, instead of having the play interpreted at the side which marginalises the deaf community. This is an extra aspect that we want to bring into the play for 2024 and the extra costs are being picked up as sponsorship by the Deaf Church in Edinburgh.

It makes such a difference that we can continue our vision to see equal access to the performing arts for disabled people. Thank you to Creative Lives for awarding us this grant!"