I make live performance, and most recently a cabaret show at Soho Theatre with learning disabled and neurodivergent actors on disability hate crime. I also identify as neurodivergent. We were taking the show up to the Edinburgh Festival (and to take up some of my students as well) but due to lockdown this won’t be able to happen this year. I am a real advocate of inclusive theatre which drives my research and teaching. I am passionate about how those with learning disabilities are still often denied access to the performing arts.
In terms of lockdown, I think initially it was very traumatic for so many of our students, and it took long time for everyone to process it. I'm very aware of all the different situations our students have been thrown into. Some had to stay on campus as they didn’t have the choice to go home. Others who went home have no space to work or have children in the house. It has brought us closer together.
I am a single parent with a ten year old daughter, and we live outside of London. My daughter is quite independent, curious and creative. We’ve made a space in the garden for gymnastics.
This whole slowing down has been a welcome change in many ways even though what is happening is so horrific. I feel privileged in these circumstances because I’m lucky to have a job, a house and a beautiful daughter. I have regular teaching and tutorial-contact with our wonderful students and colleagues.
I have very focused, artistic conversations with my students, particularly our Level 6 students as they work on their Autobiographical Performances for our online festival Something About Us. But we all miss working in the flesh in a studio as our area is making live performance. This whole experience highlights how important touch and physical contact is for performing arts – however the work they are making online is tremendous and just as relevant.
I don't have the luxury of having lots of free time due to teaching students online, planning and meetings. I have a few articles that I have to complete as well as juggling homeschooling with my daughter – now that is both a challenge and also wonderful.
Liselle Terret is Co-Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre & Performance