Response from Kibo Productions, 30th April

My dear ladies,

Thank you very much for reaching out!

We have this morning published a statement about the twitter feedback. Here it is: 

I am thoroughly grateful for your invitation to dialog and I fully understand that beneath the negativity on twitter there are really good intentions. I hope you will see our intentions have been good too.

I acknowledge Paul did not speak on your behalf and he is not representative for you. I don’t think he ever attempted to and I think directing any anger at him would be very unfair. I have invited a number of autistic artists on the panel and Paul was the only one who accepted it. I am hugely indebted to him.

Now, there seems to be two threads of discussion here:

1. Autistic motherhood: I have very little to no authority whatsoever in this regard. The Big Things is in no way about autistic motherhood. Yes, Grace is autistic and she is a mother, but her difficulties in connecting with the child are touching a lot more on the theme of post-partum depression and have nothing to do with her autism. The review on The F Word picked up on this and you can see in the play that once the son is no longer a toddler she does connect with him, culminating with a very emotional end scene.

Regardless! You want your voice to be heard. I want your voice heard too. You have an ally in me and if my experience or resources can help you I will be happy to do that. Have you got a particular event or type of event in mind? Or better, what would you suggest is the best way for me to carry your voice?

2. Autistic artists: This is actually what we meant from the very beginning: bringing autistic voices on stage. I have meanwhile met Paul Wady and Jon Adams and I hope to work with both of them in the future. There are plans in place in this direction. It would be wonderful if I could stage a play by an autistic writer, better still if it’s an autistic woman writer, but I have no knowledge of such scripts. Please let me know if you do. I know Rhi has invited me to her show, but hers is a one-woman show and often times one person shows work better when they are self produced or with a hired producer.

This is a question for Rhi in particular: have you got any script that has at least one full draft and that you could send me to read? 

And to conclude, a couple of questions for all of you:

1. would you be interested in or able to attend another panel before the end of this week? I’m happy to organize it!

2. if you are happy to continue this dialogue, how do you see it developing into a working relationship going forward? I am open to any ideas, so please send your thoughts my way.

Best wishes,

Leonard Bacica

Producer – The Big Things, by Mike Heath

4 thoughts on “Response from Kibo Productions, 30th April

  1. I signed the letter as a supporter. I am not autistic, let alone an autistic mother but it has been my honour and my privilege to know those who are.

    I can understand errors made honestly out of lack of experience of knowing these people directly. I have read your responses and they seem sincere. I guess the proof of that will show in what you do next. If you use this as an opportunity to grow, develop your own understanding and to give a voice to an extremely marginalised group of people I will be cheering you from the rooftops.

    With best wishes and optimism for the future.

  2. To the playwright: Powerful narratives gain lives of their own, often ones the author doesn’t intend. Making art is a tug between vulnerability & risk with creative force & passion…and sharing it a balance between responsibility and artistic freedom. From my perspective, you focused on the latter ends of those delicate balances. I’m glad you are learning and open to taking responsibility for your art. Keep listening.
    —Sherry Johnson, M. Ed., CTF, autistic activist, teacher, facilitator, longtime theatrical director, and loving mother to my autistic son

  3. I am disappointed in the comment
    “The Big Things is in no way about autistic motherhood. Yes, Grace is autistic and she is a mother, but ….” If you have an under represented group and you have a main character being a member of that group you have to be aware they will be taken as representative, to me lack of awareness of this is irresponsible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *