The following information has been taken from the Equal People website (but we’ve not got round to updating that recently)
Penni Bubb set up the Mushroom Theatre Company in 2004 with the intention of promoting the benefits of the performing arts, alongside the aim of creating a fully inclusive Theatre Company for the community. We integrate children with special needs with able-bodied children in all our classes and performances. We believe that this approach is beneficial for not just children with disabilities, but also for the able bodied children, whom we feel are helped by breaking down their ignorance and possible fear towards disabilities.
MTC offers an environment away from the stresses of everyday life, and we believe that the performing arts have many social and therapeutic benefits, yet are often disregarded. All are welcome to attend our classes- regardless of gender, race, sexuality or ability. We offer specialist classes for individuals with Special Needs, however none of our classes are restricted due to ability, and therefore our company provides an excellent opportunity for the development of social interaction. Our emphases are on the development of self-esteem and teamwork, and as a result believe that our work is very beneficial to individuals with disabilities and for young adults.
However, in order for us to expand the work that we do, we need to build a purpose built theatre and performance area that could cater for disabled performers and spectators as there is currently no other arts facility in the area that can provide this. We would like to build a theatre that would provide a safe place for disadvantaged children and young people to participate in performing arts. A place that would be a totally accessible performance and learning environment for those in wheelchairs. We hope that a theatre such as this would become a pleasant community area that could be used by our company, local schools and organisations, and fellow theatre groups.
Outreach projects that we have undertaken in the past suggest that our theatre would be well received and well used. Projects carried out this summer had a 75% attendance rate, and we were left with positive feedback from both the children who attended and Essex County Council.
As a result MTC set up the Equal People charity in the autumn of 2005, gained charitable status in December 2006, and in 2007 ex-pupil Lee Mead, now TV/West End Star, became patron of the charity. The charity has a board of trustees and a fundraising team who work very hard on a voluntary basis the thing we need more than anything is land and advice. If anyone would like more information about us or to offer land or advice please contact us.
Equal People is a registered charity, number 1116649.