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2021 Participants 



That is Not a Toy
Alan Shain and Madeleine Hall
Lab Experience


That is Not a Toy used physical theatre and clowning to explore the themes of disability, power, control, and connection. This exploration was grounded in relationships between the disabled body and various disability related equipment – and began the creation of a clown character, Nala. Traditionally, the purpose of disability equipment is to assist or support the disabled body to behave in 'normal' ways. Nala, however resists this, using disability equipment as objects for play and as a point of connection to his surroundings and to his audience. Through the lab, Madeleine and Alan created the framework of a physiotherapy session to bring the character of Nala to life. A menacing physiotherapist, represented by voice over, continually forces Nala into prescribed uses of the disability equipment. But as soon as the physiotherapist is not watching... the wheelchair becomes a race car, the leg braces tap dance, and the walker becomes a dancing partner to seduce... Nala's goal is to connect to his audience, continually inviting them to join in the laughter and the play. Madeleine and Alan are looking forward to the next stage of development with Theatre 4,669.

Madeleine Hall

Alan Shain

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Attila Clemann and Chris Ralph




Lab Experience

Tall tales of high sea adventures are part of Chris Ralph’s charming persona; pulled out at parties and the dinner table, celebrated, funny and often heart warming.

And of course everything from the storyteller is completely and utterly true, every word, every image, and every character.  Or is it? Chris Ralph is working on bringing his stories from working on Arctic and Antarctic cruises to life. Harrowing storms, injured passengers with questionable medical care, border woes and family deaths all play their part. And of course, as a storyteller, he must make sure everything is entertaining and gripping to an audience. These tales must remain tall; but then what do we do with the truth? Here is where Chris Ralph is attempting to not only share his fantastic stories but also reveal the truth behind the stories, letting us both enjoy them as tall tales but also sit in the heartfelt sincerity of the truth of the storyteller and who he is as a simple person, not the fanciful hero of the high seas.

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Attila Clemann

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Chris Ralph

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