Graeae tours world-class, diverse, high impact theatre.
Accessibility is at our core; we progressively define, evolve and redefine the ways in which signing, audio description, sound, light and film can enhance the theatrical experience.
This section features the philosophy behind our work, our support for new writing (and how to submit scripts), how the move to a new workspace has transformed the company, the history of Graeae, and our approach to access in rehearsal and on stage.
Download Graeae’s Annual Review 2011-12 below.
Or click on this link to downloand the Audio version: Graeae Audio Annual Review 2011-12
This document is available in alternative formats. Please e-mail info [at] graeae.org
The award-winning Bradbury Studios are home to Graeae. Find out what’s special and how the building has transformed the way we operate. This section also contains details on how to hire our building, technical and access equipment.Back to top ↑
Graeae was founded in 1980 by Nabil Shaban and Richard Tomlinson. Having met at college in Coventry, creating productions involving disabled people, their shared vision was to dispel images of defencelessness, together with prejudices and popular myths, around disabled people… through theatre, workshops and training.
By May 1980, a company of disabled performers was established to perform the first ever Graeae play Sideshow.
Writing in Disability, Theatre and Education in 1982, Richard Tomlinson said ‘The story (of the Graeae) appealed to both of us. We were happy to concoct morals on the subject of disabled people supporting each other.’
Since 1980, Graeae has achieved an international reputation as a pioneer of accessibility in world-class theatre, with the original impetus of its founders still at its very core.
Nabil Shaban remains a patron of the company.Back to top ↑
Artistic Director – Jenny Sealey MBE
Jenny Sealey joined Graeae as Artistic Director in 1997; she directs all productions and has also designed a select number – including Kaite O’Reilly’s ‘peeling’ and Sarah Kane’s Blasted.
Jenny is fuelled by her passion to find a new theatrical voice across the ‘aesthetics of access’ (sign language and audio description, diverse physicality and differing voices etc), from the very beginning of the artistic process.
Co-productions include Flower Girls by Richard Cameron with New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Static by Dan Rebellato with Suspect Culture, and new street arts venture Against the Tide and The Garden with Strange Fruit, an Australian sway pole company. Recent productions include Signs of a Diva by Nona Shepphard and a new musical Reasons to be Cheerful (inspired by Ian Dury songs) by Paul Sirett, both with Theatre Royal Stratford East. Jenny has an MBE for services to disability arts.Back to top ↑
According to Greek legend, the three Graeae sisters shared an eye and a single tooth. When Perseus stole them, the sisters revealed how to kill the Medusa, but he broke his oath and threw away their life source. The Graeae ethos is grounded in working together and sharing resources.
We are often asked how Graeae is pronounced so we wanted to share the correct pronunciation: “grey-eye”.
The Graeae SistersBack to top ↑
Access at Graeae
Access is fundamental to Graeae’s work; we provide an inclusive working practice for artists and staff, and an accessible theatrical experience for our audiences.
Click here for details of our access policy, guidelines, Sightlines film and services we offer.Back to top ↑