Hijinx Theatre Company
Culture award 2019 winner
Hijinx is a pan Wales theatre company who always cast neurodivergent and learning disabled actors in their award winning theatre productions. Hijinx uses theatre to tackle the complex social problem of integrating learning disability into the workplace and into society.
Hijinx are driven by the ambition to reduce inequity. They believe that everyone should have the right to access a rich cultural education and lead a dynamic, creative life.
To enable people with learning disabilities to become professional actors, Hijinx has established 5 professional, vocational training Academies across Wales which for over 70 learning disabled and neurodivergent adults who each receive a minimum of 800 hours teaching by the best theatre and film practitioners working in the UK today. They have now started replicating this training in Lesotho, Shanghai and Singapore. Actors from the Academies are cast in Hijinx productions that tour extensively world wide.
In addition, Hijinx facilitate and curate the Hijinx Unity International festival celebrating the achievements of the globe's most talented disabled performers. They also run a popular participation programme - including Youth Academies and Drama Foundation courses - in Cardiff and Prestatyn.
Hijinx actors are also employed to deliver communication training to public and private sector clients. Using role play techniques then enact typical scenarios that help clients improve the way in which they communicate with vulnerable customers. Their diverse clients include NHS, Cardiff Airport, legal and hospitality sectors.
Hijinx also source paid acting opportunities for learning disabled actors in film and television and lobby the creative industries for more inclusive casting.
The new Hijinx film strand will provide even more opportunities for learning disabled actors to experience acting for screen. They have set out themselves the challenge of ensuring that an actor with a learning disability wins an Oscar by 2030.