Queensland Theatre | Drizzle Boy mini documentary transcript
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Drizzle Boy mini documentary transcript

A transcript of our DRIZZLE BOY mini documentary featuring interviews with: Daniel R Nixon, Daniel Evans, Catarina Hebbard, Rebecca Alexander, Guy Webster and Naomi Price.

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Daniel R Nixon: The story of Drizzle Boy to me is a coming of age story of a young autistic man who is navigating himself through the challenges of adulthood through different relationships and then through his own acceptance.

Daniel Evans: Drizzle Boy actually takes its name from Rain Man, the 1987 film starring Dustin Hoffman. And in many ways the work is a wright back against that film, and the idea that other people can speak for or play autistic people.

Daniel R Nixon: I think if you want to tell a story like this it can only really happen through a expression of authenticity. In recent times a lot of stories have been told but always through the perspective of a neurotypical lens and they’re often played by actors who don’t have the same shared lived experiences. And so, as a result I think we often see imitation and exaggeration rather than authenticity.

Daniel Evans: But when you work with someone who is authentically neurodivergent, that lends the story and the experience far more credibility, but also power.

Catarina Hebbard: I think it’s really important to have access consultants on a show like Drizzle Boy because its written by someone who is neurodiverse, it has a neurodiverse actor who is in the show, but also in order to ensure that audiences are able to access the show in the way that they need to access it.

Daniel Evans: So we’ve been working a lot with Indelability, they have been instrumental in helping create the conditions for the room, but also in helping, on a another layer, the front of house staff, our marketing staff on how to make the space more friendly and accessible to everyone.

Daniel R Nixon: When you talk about a sensory experience or access in live theatre its often a secondary layer. A relaxed viewing or a Auslan interpretation they often come at the end of the process. We started doing it at the start. And the way that Ryan has written the script is to incorporate some of those sensory experiences within the play and within ht world so that everybody in the audience feels comfortable.

Guy Webster: Built into our design there is a language to let people know that we’re going to do something in a moment. We hope it does not affect you more than we would like it to. It’s less about limiting what we can achieve and more about making more conversation. There are layers of elements. There is the story, and then we know that we are having a conversation with the people that are aware and sensitive to other changes, we’re having that on top of it. Inside it.

In an example where there might be a loud piece of music about to start there is a sound affect that will be accompanied by a lighting affect that will be preceding that sound, it might even be happening during a line, a relatively unobtrusive sound, but very distinct so that it’s part of the story.

Daniel R Nixon: Just know that if you are somebody who is sensitive to sound and light that all of that has been taken into consideration and you’ll still get a full theatric experience without feeling like we’ve removed things in order to cater to people who might be sensitive to that.

Catarina Hebbard: We think that works like Drizzle Boy are really important because they showcase other people from our community that we don’t normally see on our stages. Working with authentic casting as well I think is so important to go there are artists out there who can do this work.

Daniel R Nixon: Trust that it will give you more opportunities for freedom and expression in the work. It gives you a whole different perspective. And it allows you to really delve into the work and talk about those really uncomfortable conversations and sort of dive into the subject matter without feeling like you have to skirt around the edge.

Rebecca Alexander: No one’s access needs are really the same so it’s nice to be able to encapsulate a really wide variety of access needs.

Catarina Hebbard: It’s not too hard. I think that’s something that people kind of go “UGH Disability that’s too hard”. I think that’s a misconception that’s out there and so by doing a show like this you can showcase that it isn’t that hard and you can be flexible and you can create safe environments and enjoyable experiences for everybody ­--

Rebecca Alexander: -- It’s breaking the stigma

Catarina Hebbard: Yeah, yeah

Rebecca Alexander: It’s breaking the stigma, let’s try it, do it! And I think it’s just incredibly vital for our arts industry to start working with a whole range of people. We need to, we need to hear people’s stories.

Daniel Evans: There’s no such thing as the universal experience, everyone is made up of a multitude of experiences. And for people who are neurodivergent those experiences are vast and different, sometimes painful, and can be complex, but equally beautiful.

Naomi Price: The first thing that I learnt on this project is that autism is not a sliding scale, it’s a pallet. And that every autistic person is different. You cannot put autism through the same lens for everybody. Because everybody is different shades and colours of that beautiful pallet.

Daniel Evans: This is a work that is for people with autism, for people who are neurodivergent. Not just in terms of the audience but for artists alike. I couldn’t imagine working with anybody else but Daniel, he is brilliant in this role.

Daniel R Nixon: I think we’re making a very special show. I think that it’s a story for everybody.

Naomi Price: You’re seeing something truly theatrical and special that you can’t see anywhere else.

Daniel Evans: Drizzle Boy is a celebration. It’s a take back. But it’s also an anthem for anyone who’s ever felt different, or even been made to feel like they don’t belong in this world.

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