Research Based Theatre

Research-based theatre to promote social change: Alone in the Ring

To book a performance, click HERE.

We recently conducted a 3-year CIHR-funded study to understand the barriers to and facilitators of access for people with disabilities in healthcare practice. We held 150 interviews with 80 students and clinicians with disabilities, and with administrators, faculty, and employers.

Capitalizing on the rich stories we heard, sharing attitudinal barriers, we seek to share our results to promote social change that will increase equity and inclusion within healthcare professions. A theatrical production offers a generative approach to translate some of our key findings, by bringing to life the humanity that lies at the core of our research. This visceral form of knowledge translation allows us to present on stage the lived experience of barriers to inclusion from the perspective of people with disabilities.

To reach this goal we have assembled a team of 10 researchers, artists, playwrights, and participants with lived experiences. This group met every week for two months and created a 10-minute scene. This 10-minute scene, called Alone in the Ring, displays the lived experience of students and clinicians with disabilities in healthcare professions. We presented the scene at a research-based theatre symposium held on October 25–27 at the University of British Columbia, after which we conducted a guided group discussion with the audience.

Here are some of our audience reactions:

“The capacity of untrained actors to communicate ideas, emotions with honesty, playfulness, and commitment.”

“Telling stories is powerful. I would like to hear more stories and see them told…”

Pictures: Arel Jarus-Hakak

Video: Amir Michalovich

Directing and dramaturgy: George Belliveau, Christopher Cook, Laen Hershler

Music by: Samuel Caleb Wee, Yoav Pen

Stigma song lyrics: Hila Graf

Playwriting and acting: Tal Jarus, Michael Lee, Laura Bulk, Hila Graf, Yael Mayer 

We want to express our sincere gratitude to our research participants for sharing their life stories and lived experiences with us we feel privileged to bring some unheard voices to the front of the stage.