On Saturday 17 July, the Activ Heartbeats performance group performed ‘Don’t Stop Me Now – a musical extravaganza!’.
The inclusive variety show was all about breaking down barriers and showcasing the singing, dancing, musical and acting abilities of our customers, and with the support of their incredible support staff, the show helped to raise the voice of people with disability through creative expression.
In making the show, our customers were at the forefront of all decisions and had input and choice in all aspects of the production – from the music, to dance moves, to costumes and beyond – it was truly their show.
This year’s performance at the 400-seater Curtin Theatre was an amazing achievement, where the audience was wowed by gifted musical acts, comedy acts, singing and dancing to a mix of classic and modern music, homages to musical theatre favourites Grease and Frozen, and a moving performance using AUSLAN (sign language).
The Beaconsfield community services team of support workers used their unique talents and experiences to make the show a huge success! The founders of the Activ Heartbeats, support workers Kim Parkin and Vanessa Strnadica, were integral to the logistical organisation of the show, purchasing costumes and props and liaising with our performers’ families and support staff to ensure the show went smoothly, from the first rehearsal to the final performance. Support worker Taneesha Lyons, who has a background in dance, supported customers with choreography, support worker Lauren Ranger, with a background in make-up artistry, coordinated the stage make-up for performers, and support worker Cate Reynolds used her knowledge in AUSLAN to lead the signed performance.
Several of our customers gave solo performances; customer Julius beautifully sang an Ed Sheeran hit, Leath gave a moving contemporary dance performance and customer Ian performed an incredible solo on the drums to ‘We Built this City’. With the encouragement and support from their dedicated support staff, they performed independently and with so much confidence!
Activ’s Beaconsfield community services team are extremely committed to supporting our customers to pursue their unique interests and achieve their creative goals, going the extra mile to provide opportunities for them to share their abilities and talents. They also supported our customers on-stage – singing, dancing and acting alongside them!
Support worker Lauren, who not only worked with the performance group to develop and rehearse the show, but along with her colleagues organised the event, hoped that audiences came away with a special message.
“The show celebrated the abilities of the Activ Heartbeats group – it’s not about what we can’t do, it’s about what we can do,” said Lauren.
In doing this, the Activ Heartbeats make a valuable contribution to representation in performing arts, not only supporting our customers to achieve their goals, but providing opportunities for other people with disability to see themselves reflected on stage.
“Shows like ours do so much for representation. For people with disability to see people just like them doing what they love, it’s a vital part of why we do what we do. I’m so proud of them, and I know the audience was too.”
Congratulations to the Beaconsfield community services team and the Activ Heartbeats for putting on an amazing show and for truly putting Activ’s values into action!
Do you want to explore your interest in performing arts? Activ’s community services may be right for you! Contact our friendly Customer Engagement team today to see how you can get involved.