Now in its fifth year, the LEAD Ensemble is a creative generator for artists innovating their practice and creating new works. During the six-week cycle, LEAD employs a roster of 26 neurodiverse and neurotypical artists who meet for weekly sessions. Building on principals from disability arts and social justice movements, the LEAD Ensemble opens a creative space where working across perceptions of cognitive ability and difference can generate exciting and provocative performance art. The artists are matched to a cohort that shares their artistic desires – to explore (for open-ended practice-building and skills development) or create (to generate a cumulative performance piece).

LEAD participants have appeared in mainstage international festivals (The Democratic Set) and created short works for the stage (I like it close, I like it where it’s all grainy), and have a consistent focus on ensemble work, integration of movement and sound into creation, and adaptation as a powerful access point for the artist’s re-visioning of their worlds. Sharing the value of access as a priority and embracing the ethos that everyone is great at some things and not-so-great at others, LEAD is a hub for theatre creators interested in exploding traditional forms to discover what lies beyond.

Facilitated by Evelyn Chew and Nathan Kay

Creative Team

Nathan Kay
Evelyn Chew


Evelyn Chew, Nathan Kay, Anton Lipovetsky & Lucy McNulty
Producer: Sandra Henderson
Produced by Neworld Theatre
In partnership with posAbilities and Down Syndrome Resource Foundation
With the support of the Vancouver Foundation, TD Bank Group, BC Arts Council, Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, Canada Council for the Arts, Deux Mille Foundation, Youssef Warren Foundation, and the Hamber Foundation
Video by Cam AndersonCascade Film & Media

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