A budding young actor with additional support needs has secured his first job at Dundee Rep after nine years of involvement with the company.
Blair Morris (17), has been appointed Creative Assistant at the Rep, where he will be responsible for offering support and guidance to younger people with additional support needs, helping build their confidence and develop their creativity through drama and theatre techniques.
Blair’s appointment coincides with the launch of Young Illuminate, a new youth theatre created by Dundee Rep Creative Learning for young people with learning disabilities aged from five to 16 years of age.
Blair has been a member of the Rep community youth theatre since he was a pupil at Gowriehill Primary School in Dundee. He is currently a sixth-year pupil at Kingspark School in Dundee, a school for youngsters with additional support needs, which he is due to leave next summer when he will move onto College to undertake a life skills course.
Blair’s career in the performance arts began when he joined Menzieshill Drama Group aged nine, and his first dramatic performance was at Camperdown Zoo in November 2008; since then, he has appeared in pantos, talent shows and a range of performances at Dundee Rep.
Mum Pamela, said the job was a dream come true for her son.
“Blair has Goldenhar Syndrome, which leads to global development delay, hearing loss and speech and language difficulties,” she said.
“We feel Blair’s acceptance in community drama has helped with his additional needs and hearing and communication barriers. He has really flourished as he is encouraged to be himself, and as a result his confidence has greatly improved.
“We can’t express our pride when we see the joy that emanates from him when he is on stage.”
Dundee Rep’s Community and Wellbeing Facilitator Amanda Lowson described Blair as ‘a huge asset to the Creative Learning team at the Rep’.
“Blair has been coming to the Rep for many years now – he is well-known and very popular with everyone here. He loves to pass on his experience and always helps put the younger kids at ease, so he is a perfect fit for the youth theatre, Young Illuminate, which will provide a great opportunity for young people of all ages to engage with the theatre in a fun, safe and supportive creative space.
“It is a pleasure to have Blair here and we are so pleased that he will be staying with us once he leaves school.”
Young Illuminate classes started on Saturday, September 17. The café will be open for parents during the classes and places must be booked in advance. Times are: