Announcing our CRIPtic 2023 Artists!

Following an open call out earlier this year, CRIPtic Arts is thrilled to announce 16 incredible disabled artists and disabled-led companies who’ll be joining Artist Development programmes across four strands in 2023/24: Breakthrough, Incubate, Launchpad and Reach.

Through these initiatives CRIPtic Arts continues to forge diverse, disabled excellence, with community, ethics, and solidarity at its heart.

Creatively courageous and accessibility-driven, CRIPtic Arts blazes a revolution, providing active disabled leadership to advance world-class arts work with disabled creatives.

Selected projects in 2023’s line-up of supported-work range from absurdist physical theatre to an indie game studio, and demonstrate disabled excellence in a wide variety of artforms:


In the Breakthrough strand, CRIPtic Arts will be supporting two different musicians, Adrian Lee and Miss Jacqui, to create professional quality work to be used as a ‘calling card’ for breaking into the wider industry. 

Electric guitarist and creative music director, Adrian Lee will be disrupting notions about the electric guitar by performing and recording new music in unconventional, site-specific contexts.

For poet and songwriter, Miss Jacqui, Breakthrough will be an opportunity to reintroduce her music through an impactful video intended to challenge perceptions around accessibility and barriers.

Both will receive a £6000 commission, mentoring, support, and development sessions as part of CRIPtic Arts’ mission to nurture creativity, and encourage excellence in disability arts:


The Incubate cohort is made up of four exceptional artists who’ll be taking part in a 12-month accelerator programme building disabled led organisations, or creating organisations from what has previously been solo practice. The selected initiatives are:

A proposed social enterprise and indie game studio from designer and artist, Ducky Elford, focused on creating games for disabled gamers by disabled-led teams.

Response Ability Theatre, helmed by Nell Hardy, which seeks to represent and support people whose lives have been derailed by trauma.

SENSORIA, a dance organisation bringing radical accessibility to dance and the disability arts ecosphere via a hip hop framework and state of mind.

The Shouting Mute, an arts company championing AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) users, led by poet, artist and inclusivity activist, Dave Young.


In CRIPtic Arts’ Launchpad artist development strand, the aim is to encourage the development of bold, new and adventurous work for the stage. The selected artists will access a funded 6 month development & mentoring programme, giving them the skills and connections to create or expand on the following theatre pieces:

A show by Manchester-based artist, Ada Eravama, exploring themes of youth and age through the relationship between Grace and her grandmother who are finding it difficult to relate.

‘To Rose on her 18th Birthday’, an autobiographical play by A.C. Smith, exploring the life-altering experience of going through cancer treatment as a mother. 

A piece by Ashleigh Wilder that transports the audience into the mind of a character entering a massage therapy room to receive their very first full body massage. It explores the vulnerability of navigating gender, race and disability.

‘We Close Our Eyes’ by Jasmin Thien, a play that takes a raw look at the thread of ancestry binding four Chinese women together, even as in every generation stories of atrocities faced and hardships overcome are kept ruthlessly silent.

An extended version of ‘Bumps’, by Jessi Parrott, a monologue which originally began as a short prose-poem processing the homophobic bus attack in Camden in 2019, in relation to their experiences as a queer person with a very obvious wheelchair.

Launchpad will then culminate in a showcase in March 2024, where each artist who has completed the programme will be given a 30 minute performance slot.


A total of 5 artists are joining CRIPtic Arts on the Reach artist development strand, which has a specific focus on supporting intrepid new solo shows. As with all CRIPtic Arts’ supported-cohorts, they address a multitude of pressing topics and lived experiences:

Expanding on a previous R&D, Britny Virginia will develop a one-woman show exploring dance culture in the Caribbean, disability, movement and religion. Entitled ‘Up In The Mango Trees’, it will specifically address the social politics of disability in St. Lucian culture through dance, combat movements, aerial techniques and original music.

Elspeth Wilson will use her inter-disciplinary creative practice to tell the story of a woman trying to obtain a diagnosis for a variety of symptoms and the barriers that she faces, as well as her fantasies of an easy, life-changing diagnosis.

Gemma Lees
work often deals with her lived experiences, including the contemporary Romany experience. Drawing from this, she will create a fictional solo show about the original Romany Gypsy fortune-telling women of Blackpool, through poetry, mime, song and silent film-style captions.

Sober Curious’ by Marcella Rick invites audiences into the brain of Jay, a queer, neurodivergent person as they endeavour upon their first ever sober night out.

Terri Jade Donovan’s
absurdist physical theatre play which, while using comedy as a device, will explore trauma responses by telling the story of a girl who fears she is turning into a Dog.

As part of ‘Reach’, the artists will receive funding to develop their work, attend a programme of online workshops, masterclasses, and facilitated critical feedback groups, culminating in a two day in-person residential where they’ll work with each other and a director to shape the final pieces.

About CRIPtic Arts

CRIPtic Arts is a creative development organisation focused on making the arts industry more accessible, and supporting, developing, and championing disabled people across the industry. It was founded in 2019 and works on:

  • Artistic excellence: Building  opportunities for deaf and disabled creatives at every point in their career including through workshops, 1:1 advice, and funding application support
  • Curating showcases and development opportunities, championing work by disabled people, with a particular focus on those whose access needs aren’t met elsewhere

Delivering access training, advice and consultancy to companies and institutions by embedding disability justice at the heart of their approach. This is informed by research, resources, revolution – the research and policy development arm of CRIPtic Arts’ work.