Anders! – inclusive music theatre

Anders! (meaning ‘other’ or ‘different’) is a music theatre project founded by Embrace Nederland in collaboration with the CityProms Festival Leeuwarden. It has a regional cast of mostly young people, with differing disabilities, who coupled with professionals, create and present a performance every year in the CityProms Festival. Our motto is: ‘Everyone has a voice and everyone is welcome.’

The performances are built from the perspective of the performers themselves. Their ideas, stories and emotions are translated via text, poetry, music and movement into a music theatre performance. The ‘journey’ to the performance is just as important as the end result. The combination of professionals with people with disabilities makes for surprising creations.

Buddy system

During the creative process, the participants with disabilities are partnered by a non-disabled professional artist, thus creating an environment where an individual form and language can be created. This gives immense support and empowerment to the performers with disabilities and a strong group dynamic.

This coupling with a creative partner or ‘buddy’, means that the duo can rehearse apart for some months. This is more efficient qua time and logistics. The material created during this period is then brought together and further developed by the Embrace team.

The core values of Anders! are:

• Inclusivity: everyone is welcome.

• Participation: taking part and being creative are the most important elements, particularly for those who would not normally have a chance to take part in such a production.

• Empowerment: how can someone with a disability reach their potential? How can someone without a disability learn understanding and respect for the other? We work from the point of view of everyone’s creativity.

• Quality: we always strive for the highest quality, for professionals and amateurs alike.

Accompanied by a team of professionals

Anders! is run by a team of professionals, consisting of an artistic leader, two music therapists, a team of professional musicians, a choreographer and a composer.
For our participants with severe multiple disabilities we are developing innovative digital instruments and software, with the support of Drake Music London, the leader in creative music-making for people with disabilities.

Watch the documentary made by Marijke Schonewille, about the music & theatre performance De dag dat ik op reis Ga by Anders!