"Inspirational" stage production by people with a disability
12 May 2011
“Inspirational” was how NSW Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, described a dress rehearsal of a full scale stage production by 58 people with a disability at Rydalmere this week.“A Moment to Shine” now in its seventh – and biggest - year and at the Hills Centre on 27 May, will take the form of a live studio recording on New Year‟s Eve 1959 called “On with the Show” which will take the audience on a journey through the „wonder years‟ of rock‟n‟roll.
The cast, who range in age from 29 to 67 and include people with physical and intellectual disabilities, will present various acts include singing, dancing, drumming, hula-hooping and parodies of icons of the 1950s. Twenty of the cast have taken part in every concert.
Mr Constance said the presentation, by people who live in residences operated by Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) in the metropolitan area, demonstrated the talent, energy and enthusiasm of people with a disability.
“A Moment to Shine is the kind of program that touches your heart and leaves an imprint on your life.
“The really great thing about this concert is the dramatic effect it has on many of the people who have taken part over the years.
“One man, who previously had very challenging behaviour and needed constant supervision by three staff members, has had a significant change in his personality and is now an integral part of each year‟s production.
“It shows that by being part of a team, learning new skills over 15 weeks of rehearsals, experiencing the pleasure of participating and making new friends can have a very beneficial effect on people.”
Mr Constance said that giving people with a disability the opportunity to become integrated with their local community was a major aim of ADHC‟s support programs.
“People with a disability used to be separated from the broader community.
“Now, people with a disability are being given the opportunity to be involved in their community and treated as valuable members of that community.”
Mr Constance said that “A Moment to Shine” had been a real success story. It is an illustration to the public that with committed staff and volunteers, willing to work with people with a disability, their talents can shine.
It began in 2005 with 35 people in the cast supported by 10 staff and six volunteers who produced the show with no budget. Only one costume was used and the show ran for only 25 minutes. The Parramatta RSL provided the venue free of charge and the concert attracted 120 people.
This year, as a result of growing community support (both in volunteer hours and financially), the cast will play to around 600 people and will have professionals helping the large team of family, friends and volunteers with audio, lighting, make-up, costume design and choreography.
“On With the Show” is on at The Hills Centre on Carrington Road at Castle Hill starting at 7.30pm on Friday, 27 May. Tickets are $22 and there is free parking at the site.