Hijinx actors performing in the production Housemates. Credit: Mark Douet

Hijinx Theatre actors to teach business people all about inclusivity

The performers will be centre stage in a series of performances and panel discussions at a communications conference

ACTORS with learning disabilities or autism are going to teach business people all about inclusivity at an event involving performances and discussion panels.

Every week, Hijinx Theatre Company works with more than 120 who have learning disabilities or autism to increase their visibility on screen and stage.

Hijinx’s communications training at the Amdani! Conwy event. Credit: Paul Davies – Cambrian Photography. 

The actors will be showcasing one of their street theatre shows at the digital arts venue CULTVR and participating in a training session on making communication more inclusive in the workplace. 

The event, on November 30, is being hosted by communications and marketing firm The Folk Group, which sponsors Hijinx and is celebrating one year since its re-brand to become more inclusive.

Hijinx, which is based at the Wales Millennium Centre, has five professional academies across Wales.

“‘The more that our artists are seen on stage on screen, the more that other learning disabled and/or autistic people in Wales and beyond can have those aspirations as well,” said chief executive Sarah Horner.

Hijinx actor Cameron Hayden, 26, has performed at inclusive arts event Unity Festival, which was founded by the company in 2008, as well as doing shows and role-play at places like Heath Hospital and Cardiff University.

“It helped me feel like a proper human being because I can just do what I want,” said Mr Hayden.

A scene from Hijinx’s Unity Festival in 2022. Credit: Iolo Penri

Hijinx does not have its own permanent performance space.

“Cost of living is absolutely something that’s a real challenge for charities at the moment. We don’t have our own venue, so we’re very dependent on the spaces where we work and costs to hire space is going up, alongside all of the other costs that we’re trying to manage so we spend a lot of time applying for money from lots of different places,” said Ms Horner.

The event’s host, The Folk Group, was recently rebranded by founder, Sharon Flaherty, and now focuses on encouraging the communication industry to become more inclusive of underrepresented groups of people.

“The biggest challenge is that people are really scared of inclusivity, people get a little bit tongue-tied, they don’t know what to say,” said Ms Flaherty on the communications industry.

  • Companies interested in the event at CULTVR can find out more from The Folk Group.
  • Hijinx’s new Christmas production Humbug! in November at Wales Millennium Centre. Tickets can be booked here.
  • Information on Hijinx communications training for the screen industries can be found here.