Defying the stigma of disability, Undercover Artist Festival is Queensland’s second disability arts festival of its kind that highlights the extraordinary contributions and skills of those with disability.

Part of Queensland Mental Health Week, Undercover Arts Festival will provide an inspiring and obscure showcase of theatre, dance and music that is set to engage audiences.

Presented by Access Arts, the festival includes workshops and performances by leading Australian companies Back to Back Theatre, Wielding Theatre and Company of Rogues, Blue Roo Theatre Company, Indelabilityarts, Lorikeet Players and InsideOutside Theatre.

“It’s an action-packed program of participatory experiences including workshops, international acts spanning a wide range of genres and artforms, and a place to connect.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure this extraordinary line-up of artists to present their unique work here in Brisbane and to create what we know will be an unforgettable experience for all involved,” Festival Director Harmonie Downes said.

This year’s festival is dressing it up with themed events including The Mad Hatters’ Dinner Party and The Last Supper, and collaborating with major touring companies such as Cairns-based JUTE Theatre Company which will premiere a New York performance by 2014 Access Arts Achievement Award recipient Doug Robins.

Festival highlights are expected to come from Access Arts choir facilitators Leah Cotterell and Annie Peterson, as they perform SING IT OUT – a performance woven together with hilarious, nostalgic, soulful and sensational lyrics and vocals.

The performance will also feature acapella group the Cuppa Bellas, rhythm and lead guitar from guitarist Dave McGuire and additional vocals from Access Arts’ Sophie Bannister. Founding member and singer songwriter David Truong will also join the Access Arts crew for a collaborative group performance.

Other festival favourites include New Zealand’s Thane Pullen, Tyrone Noonan and
Damien Leith, Alicia Jane Steele, Janelle Colquhuon, Marissa Ker and Vulcana Women’s Circus.

Image: Philip Channells

In 2015, Undercover Artist Festival showcased a diverse range of quality performances from over 100 emerging and professional artists with disability to show Australia their skills and talents – the first arts and disability festival of its kind in Queensland.

“The inaugural Undercover Artist Festival in 2015 uncovered a need to connect and continue the conversation through an event of this scale, where artists are encouraged to contribute to an immersive, enchanting and empowering experience that ignites our collective belief that art is for everybody,” Access Arts Chief Executive Pat Swell said.

“Once again, our aim is to help make Australia known as an international leader for arts and disability.

“Presenting this incredible calibre of artists in the Festival program is such a privilege for us, and we look forward to sharing their brilliant work with our festival fans,” he said.

Access Arts is supported by Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Support
has also been received from Brisbane City Council, Queensland Theatre, Spinal Life Australia, Deaf Services Queensland and Vision Australia.

Undercover Artist Festival details: 
Location: Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Date: Friday 13 & Saturday 14 October
Festival pass – $50
Workshop pass – $30 (3 workshops of your choice)
Selected shows and workshops: Refer to program

To purchase tickets, visit the Queensland Theatre website or phone 07 3010 7600. Tickets are also available in person at Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane QLD.