Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Stealth Dramaturgy: Paul Wady @ Edfringe 2017

Stealth Aspies

5 autistic people tell it like it is. 

A cast show entirely of people diagnosed on the autistic spectrum.

Bar 50, venue 151, 1pm between 11-19th

Paul Wady of the original Guerilla Aspies solo show (3-10 then 20-27th @1pm this fringe) has brought together a cast of five fellow autistics.  Last year I put out a survey on Twitter (@StealthAspies) to find out about when people received an autism diagnosis 
later in life, or were forced to remain in the neurodiverse closet.

The resulting 22 responses (so far) will be performed together with poems and autobiographical pieces written by the cast. 

Nothing like this has been performed anywhere ever that we know of.  This is not pity porn, nor the sad tales of people who want to be neurotypical. It will be entirely devised by the cast.

These are the life experiences of a kind and a tribe that has empathy for its own members. 

(Different people depending on different days)

Alain English
Sarah Saeed
Hannah Yahya
Jason Why
Paul Wady
Janine Booth (and son).

100% ASPIE.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
I wanted to innovate a way of converting audiences en mass to my nature, which is autistic.  
I had been using Powerpoint to train professionals in what it was like to be an autistic adult, and decided to adapt it as a show narrative vehicle.  it's worked out very well although it usually crashes half way through - which I have a whole routine around.  

I did not have anyone to base my work on because no one has done anything like this before.  My friend Cian Binchy had the same problem when he created his show about being autistic at the same time.  We seem to be unique.  I would prefer if there were a lot of such shows.  

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
Yes, since my show is audience interactive all through.  It's a great medium providing you have lots of time and not a confining slot.  I have to watch my piece as I love to talk to people and if I find any other autistics in the audience, I try to do it with them.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I joined the Everyman Youth Theatre back in 1982.  I went on to a 3 month tour with a theatre group in 1983 and an entire year in a YTS scheme for theatre, the Rathbone Community Theatre Unit, Liverpool.  

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
Attempting to be myself in front of and with an audience, when I am only diagnosed these past 13 years.  I am still discovering my true nature int he face of a lifetime of hiding and masking.  It's quite a unique experience to share it.  The narrative is something I am still developing each time I do it.  

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Well since I go around training professionals in autism with another PowerPoint presentation, yes.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?

What it is to be an autistic adult.  To be part of a tribe and a kind of humanity that is forever stigmatised as diseased, disabled and inferior.

For us, they never stopped calling gays perverts...  It's the same for us.  

Guerilla Aspies  -  book out now on Ebay, Amazon & Kindle

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