TWAS Theatre Company

Educating through theatre

original dyslexia banner with name

The Process

The Project Story

 

As an educational theatre company we continuously research the school curriculum on set texts/plays that are currently being studied and also explore subjects that fit within the SMSC programme of study within Primary/Secondary Schools. ‘Stupid Me’ came about in the beginning of 2017 proposed by company director Matthew Jewson. He was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 22 and has been extremely passionate about producing a play that allows students to see a theatrical presentation of what it feels like to have dyslexia.

When this project was proposed Matt approached close TWAS Theatre associate Alec Clements to become our writer for the project.

“After conducting research into the disorder, I discovered that Dyslexia was not widely discussed in the UK. Indeed, the only creative source of research that I could find was only available in America. It was at this moment, that I realised that the need for Dyslexia to be discussed and explored in a creative sense in this country was incredibly important.” - Alec Clements, Writer.

Collectively within our initial research it became apparent to us that there was a misrepresentation and disregard to dyslexia within some fields of education and today’s society. It soon became very clear that we found a potential market within this project.

Currently still in our research and development phase we have been meeting with many local Dyslexia associations and centres discussing our intentions for the project and engaging on whether there is a market for our story. Currently we’ve visited Thorpe Dyslexia Association and Suffolk Dyslexia Association and both passionately feel this project deserves to be shown to school students and staff.

Synopsis by Writer Alec Clements

 

The play is centred around the character of Jonathan Jones, ‘JJ’ as he is often known. I did not want to make the fact that he had Dyslexia brutally clear. This was because it was important for the production to allow members of the audience to consider themselves whilst being involved with JJ’s story. Instead the moment that JJ finds out that he might have dyslexia is incredibly subtle. No big reveal, no dramatic pause. Instead, he finds out by another student who is listening to him talk about how he struggles in class, it is then this student that suggests to JJ that he is probably dyslexic.

To add emotional weight and depth to the production, the story also allows the audience an insight into JJ’s home life. Again, providing the audience with the opportunity to make comparisons between JJ’s life and theirs. Along the way, the audience meet JJ’s parents and his brother. The main events of the play follow the typical school year for a year 11 students, with their GCSE exams always looming in the background. As the dreaded exams draw closer and closer JJ’s behaviour begins to change. The big question I want the audience to be asking is, will JJ accept and receive the help that he clearly needs.

Aims & Objectives For Project

Aims

  • We aim to provide precise and accurate depiction of the condition through our story within today’s society.
  • Providing a physical representation creatively of Dyslexia.
  • We aim to shine a positive light on dyslexia, not hide or treat the condition as traumatic but to give strength and confidence to those who have Dyslexia.
  • We aim to not only transform and educate the perceptions of students but also give staff an opportunity to be enlightened by this project.
  • We aim to raise awareness.

Objectives

  • To collect as much vocal support from Dyslexia Centres and dyslexic individuals.
  • To receive full funding for this project. This will be achieved by In Kind support and charity/lottery based funding opportunities.
  • To schedule a 3 month full tour of secondary schools in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Herfordshire. 
  • To engage our audiences and provide them with useful resource packs. These will be bespoke and proofed by our friends at the SDA and About Dyslexia.