Sarah Kay Styles founded Wheelie Good Productions to integrate music and theatre performers and audiences of all abilities. Wheelie Good Productions is based in Ipswich in Queensland and runs theatre and music workshops and writes original music and theatre productions. Sarah’s own journey with music and disability inspired the creation of the not-for-product business.
Sarah’s love of music began at five and after years of music lessons, she began teaching. Around the same time that she began composing and singing, her health was deteriorating. Sarah suffers from Elhers Danlos Syndrome which affects connective tissue in the body, and POTS, a condition that has many symptoms including inability to stay upright. She found herself reliant on a power chair and then began losing her hearing. Sarah had to teach herself to sing in new ways to account for her loss of hearing.
Through these experiences, Sarah saw a need for people of all abilities to have an outlet for their musical and theatrical abilities. Sarah now prefers to communicate through Auslan and will spend this year writing musical productions that integrate D/deaf and hearing audiences. The first performances are planned for the end of 2024 after a series of workshops.
Sarah said, “From little I dreamed of performing on stage. But my genetic conditions worsened as I grew so that wasn’t an opportunity. I did find ways to perform but I was treated as a liability so wasn’t even allowed to audition let alone show people my abilities. My disability means I do work in a different manner, but a productive one none the less. When the world went online in 2020, I was able to participate for the first time which allowed me to start Wheelie Good Productions.
“We focus on omitting every bias in the performing arts industry, creating an equal opportunity for all. This way not only is everyone an equal, but everyone can also work in a way that optimizes their health and wellbeing. Even healthy able-bodied people need that. I’m excited to present this new initiative and already have groups around the country wanting to perform our shows.”
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