The BBC has launched a new training scheme 'Class Act: A Nationwide Search And Skill Factory' for disabled actors.
The programme, run by ThinkBigger, will give disabled actors across the UK the opportunity to showcase their talents to professionals in the industry, gain training and widen their contact portfolio in the industry.
Actors are invited to submit a self-taped audition under two minutes in length to apply for the scheme in which up 30 actors will be selected.
For more information on how to apply, click here.
The scheme is open to new talent and actors already working in the industry who feel they have not yet had the opportunity to showcase their talents.
The three day workshop will include tutoring in audition and camera technique, acting and business skills, script and character work, and working with directors on scenes for their showreels.
'Class Act: A Nationwide Search And Skill Factory' aims to shine a light on the work of disabled actors and provide them with "some of the finest training the BBC has to offer and give them the best possible chance to compete for opportunities," says Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama.
"Crucially it will provide a wake-up call to drama creators that they need to work harder to consider disabled acting talent for all productions - not just those with a disability theme,” says Alison Walsh, Pan-BBC Disability Lead.
“On-screen portrayal of disability is increasing on the BBC but disabled actors are still struggling to find a place - especially in roles not written specifically as disabled," she adds. "Although this scheme doesn’t guarantee work, it will provide training opportunities and exposure for new talent as well as established actors who have yet to have their ‘big break’."
Actress Shannon Murray spoke at our RTS 'Where have all the disabled people gone?' event in April about how more needs to be done to promote disabled talent on television, citing that disabled actors who do find work are often typecast, "I have never played a character with a job. Because I’m a disabled woman, therefore I must be dependent on either a husband or the state.”
The scheme aims to encourage all who work with the BBC to widen their talent pools and support disabled actors in their projects.
The training workshop will be held from the 2nd - 4th October 2017 in London.