Actor’s Stage Magic

Actor’s Stage Magic

01, January 0001

Glenhuntly resident, Norman Ryan, an employee at Scope’s South East Industries in Clayton, was the star of a show with theatre group One Voice.

One Voice, with its cast almost entirely of players with cerebral palsy, has performed to sell-out audiences at chapel off chapel in prahran and prepared work for a Department of Human services conference.

A recent show, Figments, played at chapel off chapel in September 2009, as part of Scope’s Young Ambassadors program. A number of schools attended the show, which was devised by One Voice about dreams.

Norman, 44, is the dream maker in Figments, linking all the scenes together. One Voice Director, Rachel Edward said Figments was pretty magical.

“In the past the shows have been performed for conferences so there have been strict themes the group worked to. Figments is totally creative, born from the hearts and imaginations of the performers,” she said.

“I think that students get a great sense of the performers dreams and also realize that having a disability doesn’t change your dreams. There were scenes people really relate to; dreams to become a singer, seeing Richmond win an AFL Grand Final or meeting the perfect person and falling in love.”

Rachel said Norman had totally come out of his shell; being initially quite reserved to taking a crucial role in the play. “Norman had not just taken a performance role; he’d also done a lot of the photography and multi-media for the show,’’ Rachel said.

One Voice has also started work on a new creative piece called Hand Luggage Only, which looks at the performers personal and physical journeys.

“The group meets weekly at chapel off chapel. We do acting scenes and games. I like it all. We also do drama group on a Wednesday,’’ Norman said.

South East Industries is a supported workplace for people with disabilities and produces building products, mail-outs, packaging and food handling. Norman has cerebral palsy and has been working with the team at south east Industries for the past 15 years.

The jobs he undertakes tend to have an engineering focus, but Norman has alsocompleted a food handling course.