People don’t have to study acting to be an actor. But most professional actors went to theatre schools. Should people with learning disabilities have the opportunity to study acting? Monologue section: Absolutely. It depends on the people with disabilities, whether they would want to be there, whether they would feel comfortable and whether they could be authentic in such an environment. I guess the entrance exam could test their specific capabilities. It would depend a lot on the tasks and assignments they’d have to face. They should probably adjust the assignments so that everyone can demonstrate what they have to offer and there shouldn’t be things such as acrobatic tasks for a person with a physical disability. woman, CZ The admissions process would have to be separate because I would have different standards for people with disabilities. And their studies would need their own teaching methods, I guess they’d have their own department, perhaps a specific studio that would work with other studios on various projects…I guess you can’t take verbal ability into account, it’s great when they speak clearly, but I still feel equally proud of an actress who speaks very well and an actor who essentially only says word endings. And I’m sure there are people with DS who might have trouble getting into character and working it out somehow… I guess the admissions process would end up being random every time, just like it is for non-disabled people. One could certainly find a specific quality in everyone… theatre studies student, CZ It’s one thing to be admitted and to graduate, but I honestly think that they’d still hit a wall, since society isn’t set up for them to find a job. It has a very specific audience, in my opinion still a bit too small, which is a shame, but that’s how it is. So, I wouldn’t like it to come down to “Since we’re all about inclusion, he’s going to graduate from here, but he’s not going to find a job in mainstream theatre.” man, CZ At JAMU (The Janáček Academy of Performing Arts) there is a programme called Drama Education for the Deaf. I can’t imagine people with Down syndrome being in a drama class with me. I can’t imagine the same set of rules working since there’s already so much competition between non-disabled people. But I can imagine that just as there is Drama Education for the Deaf and the Deaf study drama and acting and they can pursue theatre and have their own college degree, there could be a new programme at JAMU or another art school. intact actress at the Aldente theatre, CZ More Socratic questions: SQ1: Is attending a theatre performance by actors with learning disabilities a quest for artistic experience or another form of charitable support for them? SQ2: Is it okay for a serious character (such as Hamlet) to be played by an actor with a learning disability? Is it okay for a non-disabled actor to play a character who has a disability? SQ3: Does an actor’s disability enable them to address important human and social issues on stage? SQ4: Should an adult actor with a learning disability have a say in choosing a play, or does he/she share that responsibility with a parent/guardian who knows what his or her child is able to understand and what he or she is not? SQ5: Should the audience control themselves from laughing at the performance or actor? SQ6: Is theatre of actors who have a learning disability art or therapy? And if therapy, then for whom? SQ7: Is it okay for an actor with a learning disability to act on stage alongside a professional non-disabled actor? Does it deliver a complete performance? SQ8: Can we apply the same criteria when evaluating performances of actors with a learning disability as we would in the critique of any other performance?