What is Rebus Theatre?
Rebus Theatre is a unique, dynamic, mixed ability theatre company creating theatre for social change.
Rebus runs workshops and classes, develops and performs creative works, and delivers interactive workplace training to raise awareness around discrimination, diversity and equity. See our "What We Do" page for more info on the range of projects we do.
A Rebus is a puzzle where pictures are used to represent words - pictures of an eye, a can of soup and the ocean could mean ‘I can see’. In Rebus Theatre, we offer a puzzle of pictures and stories surrounding the challenges faced by marginalised members of society, inviting the audience to help us find the solutions.
Rebus Theatre began as a company of people with and without disabilities, performing scenarios based on the actors' lived experiences of discrimination and stigma. Rebus uses Forum Theatre which is a format allowing participants to interact with the actors and practice real life skills for the workplace in a dignified, entertaining and non-threatening atmosphere. The company has since expanded to include a range of projects, each addressing various issues faced by members of the community.
Rebus Theatre provides workplace training using scenarios based on the actors' lived experiences of discrimination and stigma. Rebus uses Forum Theatre which is a format allowing participants to interact with the actors and practice real life skills for the workplace in a dignified, entertaining and non-threatening atmosphere.
In each training session the participants will be presented with a ten minute scenario which has a very undesirable outcome for the main characters, which the audience initially watches uninterrupted. The actors then replay the scenario and members of the audience are invited to interrupt, come forward to replace an actor, and demonstrate how they would do things differently to change the outcome.
Rebus draws out meaningful dialogue amongst participants about what the workplace does well in the areas of equity and diversity, and what aspects could be improved, to bridge the gap between policy and practice. Rebus shows that every person in every organisation has influence and can help build a positive, inclusive workplace and deliver outstanding customer service.
For more information on our workplace training click here
Rebus has partnered with a number of organisations including L'Arche Geneseret, Tuggeranong Arts Centre (TAC), Belconnen Arts Centre (BAC), Aids Action Council, and DisabilityACT to run various theatre classes and workshops that address social issues and disadvantage within our community. Rebus currently runs Inclusive Drama Classes at The Hub in Phillip on Monday's and Wednesdays 10am-12pm. If you or someone you care for might be interested in joining contact us. We also run the Bridges or Barricades program in Schools facilitating students to create Forum Theatre plays about their experiences of conflict with the support of Multicultural Youth Services (MYS).
In the past Rebus has also:
- Led drama workshops for LGBTQIA+ Youth in partnership with the Aids Action Council.
- Participated in the "Everyone Everyday" program facilitating students to create Forum Theatre in schools.
- Worked with BAC on the "IGNITE" program, an arts program for people living with a disability or mental ill-health.
- Run theatre workshops for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds with TAC and MYS.
Rebus actively seeks funding to provide opportunities for people and artists who have experienced marginilisation to tell their stories through theatre and other art forms.
In 2016 Rebus teamed up with the Mental Health Foundation ACT to do a cross disciplinary creative development entitled 'Fractured' about the experience of living with trauma involving theatre, dance, music, and visual projection. We interviewed five people with lived experience of trauma as well as two researchers in the field of trauma. The creative team watched the interviews, then collaborated on creative responses to develop a 37minute show which was perfromed to an invited audience of approcximately 40 people.
Rebus is also hosting a Variety Night in celebration of International Day of People with a Disability on December 2nd and 3rd 2016 at Tuggeranong Arts Centre featuring Theatre, Dance, Music, Burlesque and Circus.
In 2018 Rebus received ArtsACT funding for a creative development using the same model as 'Fractured' to develop a show around the way scientists working on Climate Change feel about their work and the community's response to it. 'Moving Climates' ran for three nights at the Ralph Wilson theatre and inspired in depth conversation from the near full houses each night in a post show Q&A.
Rebus began in 2013 as a community project to promote disability awareness and provide performance opportunities for actors with disabilities in the Arts sector. This program was led by NICAN and funded by an ACT Government Innovations Grant.
In July 2014 after huge success, the members of the group came together as a separate entity called Rebus Theatre. Rebus incorporated as a not-for-profit association in early 2015 and have since expanded in both our mission and operations to develop and deliver a huge range of exciting projects including classes, workplace training, and creative projects addressing various social issues in our community.
Want to get involved? If you are a person with a disability who is interested in acting, or would like to get involved with Rebus Theatre, contact us and introduce yourself.
For more information about Rebus, please contact us via email here or by phone on 0403 815 784