‘Dancing with my Tuxedo Cat’ was an innovative project which involves weekly workshops with intellectually disabled participants culminating in a kaleidoscope of expression through physical theatre, mime, mask and painting. The project, which is a collaboration between Community Living Kingston, Critical Stage Company, and artists Fleming Kyle and Clelia Scale, aimed
- To explore and present, using a variety of artistic media, the experiences of a group of local disabled participants
- To enhance the artistic expression of the participants using mask, painting and theatre in a series of weekly workshops
- To develop a series of paintings, masks and poetry which represent the experiences as emerging themes
- To create a physical theatre masked portrayal of the poetry as ‘living’ paintings in a local production of ‘Dancing with my Tuxedo Cat in the Baby Grand Theatre, Kingston.
The process we used was based on the notion that theatre is a series of living paintings. The actors are the paint. However, in the eyes of a Director, instead of remaining where they are placed on the canvas, they move and complain and live, as human beings do. The idea for this project emerged from the notion that if we were to use masked actors to represent the paint, they could move according to their feelings and represent a truly ‘live’ painting. The theatre style used is physical theatre where movement and stillness is expressive and poignant. Mask emphasizes the inner thoughts in a somewhat macabre, extreme manner. Poetry is read during the mimed action to represent the unspoken thoughts.
‘Dancing with my Tuxedo cat was performed May 2004 in the Baby Grand Theatre, Princess St, Kingston, Canada