Spotlight and the National Theatre Launch Platform for D/deaf & Disabled Actors
National Theatre's Creative Diversity Project Announces New Platform for D/deaf and Disabled Actors in the UK
Spotlight are thrilled to have partnered with the National Theatre to champion D/deaf and disabled actors by offering industry professionals the opportunity to watch these actors in action on an online video platform. ProFile is a free service, both for performers and industry professionals, tackling the issue of under-representation of D/deaf and disabled actors on the stage and screen in the UK.
A pilot project which began in 2016, ProFile was created as part of the National Theatre’s Creative Diversity Project. Charlotte Bevan, a Casting Director at the NT and Shakespeare’s Globe, created the platform in order to widen the pool of talent for NT casting directors to draw from. Soon after the idea was born, Spotlight joined to help make the resource available to all theatre, film and television industry professionals across the UK.
ProFile will continue to be developed and expanded to service the needs of the industry. Here's what contributors to the project and members of industry are saying so far:
We originally created ProFile at the NT as a resource to increase our own knowledge of this talented and diverse group of actors who are drastically under-represented on our stages and screens in the UK, and we quickly realised the whole industry was craving this knowledge... so we just had to share it. Casting directors need to see actors in action, so hopefully this website will serve as a valuable industry resource for casting professionals to improve their awareness of actors they may not have come across yet. A truly vibrant industry would reflect the world we live in, which currently it does not. We desperately need to see more D/deaf and disabled actors playing all roles, not only to achieve equality, but to enrich and enhance the stories we tell.
We’re delighted to be launching ProFile with the National Theatre. At Spotlight we’re determined to ensure that professional performers of all backgrounds have the opportunity to be cast in productions for live or recorded media. We’re constantly looking to develop tools and services which support a diverse and inclusive casting process. We’re also working to ensure our membership gives casting directors access to a range of performers who represent society and the stories that are being told. Spotlight is committed to working with organisations which encourage performers of all backgrounds to consider a career in the performing arts, to provide a constant flow of new and diverse talent into our industry, while also supporting performers throughout different stages of their career by providing the support needed to continue working professionally.
This new database is a great tool for really seeing how much professional disabled actor talent there is available to UK theatres, looking to increase their diversity and disability representation. It's well overdue; hats off to the new administration at The National, and Spotlight for getting it done.
Submit your request for access by heading over to ProFile. For more information, get in touch with Emma Hardy at the National Theatre ([email protected]) and Annie Tokatlian at Spotlight ([email protected]).