Action Literally is the Inclusive Theatre Laboratory where professional stage actors and directors, artists, musicians, non-professional actors, and special needs artists work together. There are ten special needs artists in the team, those are people living with autism and Down syndrome. The Action Literally team has more than 20 people, including visiting trainers.
JTI Kazakhstan has been supporting the Laboratory since December 2018. Annual financial support from the company enables the theatre to pay salaries to the team members, cover transportation and other administrative expenses. Since 2018, JTI has also been arranging for the Kilometres of Kindness charity marathon, in which company employees, their relatives and friends take part.
It is due to the Kilometres of Kindness marathon that in 2019 and 2020, in addition to regular financial support from the company, the theatre was able to secure assistance for the preparation of the first inclusive performance The Tower of Babel in 2019, and for payments to actors during the pandemic in 2020. The first professional inclusive performance − The Tower of Babel − was staged in October-November 2019: the tickets were sold out in the very first days of sales. The Tower of Babel entered the Top ten performances of Almaty in 2019.
Since early 2019, professionals and artists with special needs in the Action Literally team entered into service contracts, and can now earn money acting on equal terms. Their monthly earnings are comparable to the salaries of artists in state theatres.
For the first time in Kazakhstan, people with mental developmental challenges were not only officially employed, but also had the opportunity to earn money with their creative activities.
Raising awareness is one of the main goals achieved by JTI Kazakhstan. Performances, regular stage plays that the team shows convey a very important message to an ordinary viewer − inclusive theatre is not a therapy or adaptation, it is an art that is created by different people through joint efforts, regardless of their personal and professional qualities, degree of their adaptation to the world around them and mental characteristics.Related Topics