16 - 30 Sep

DAFT – the Disabled Artists' Festival of Theatre 2023


Date and time icon Date and Time

Sept. 16, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2023

DAFT – the Disabled Artists' Festival of Theatre 2023

It’s back! Bolder, longer, more accessible, and with slightly more joint pain, it’s DAFT 2023!

D.A.F.T 2023 is presented by and showcases Wellington based d/Deaf and Disabled performing artists, writers, and filmmakers. The Festival is being held over two weeks across two accessible venues, the ground floor of BATS Theatre and Two/FiftySeven Willis Street, as well as two online events!

DAFT Workshop: Accessible Improv Fun

19 September at 10:00 am
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Members of Silver Noodle Soup looking joyous

Learn from a fellow disabled improvisor (and festival co-director!), and throw away your inhibitions, expectations, and a decent chunk of your dignity.

Accessible Improv Fun. (A joyful taster for disabled and D/deaf people to try improv, play games, and connect.)

5 Slices of Another Life - Development Season

21 September at 7:00 pm
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Image is of 7 different disabled or neurodiverse performers in the line drawing style of a graphic novel. each member has a pop of colour on a piece of clothing they are wearing. The background is a drawn city scape that is experiencing a meteor shower

Two women wait to be rescued from a burning building. Another finds salvation in a box of chickens. Things get awkward in a cafe. A detective investigates himself, and a blind seer delivers one last prophecy. Five new Kiwi plays, written by and featuring disabled and neurodiverse folk – are you ready to step into another life?


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Neil is pictured in front of a purple background. He has a big smile on his face, a neatly trimmed beard and haircut, and is wearing a blue plaid shirt.

A fun no-pressure overview of everything you need to know to get a mic in your face for the first time. Learn techniques for joke-writing and delivery, where and how to get practice, and how to avoid many common mistakes new performers make.

DAFT Drama Workshop with Silver Noodle Soup

22 September at 10:00 AM
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Members of Silver Noodle Soup looking joyous

Join award-winning Silver Noodle Soup Film and Theatre Company for a drama workshop like no other! These festival favourites create a safe and joyful space.

DAFT - Palsy it Up

23 September at 2:00 PM + 29 September at 6:30 PM
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Dave Batten sits in his wheelchair and grins broadly. Within the theatre curtains design.

If you liked ten minutes of Dave Batten last year, you're in luck! The rest of his set is HERE in full-length glory.

Expect self-deprecation, social commentary, hearty guffaws, and unrestrained honesty.

DAFT Workshop: Techniques for Disabled Improvisors

26 September at 10:00 am
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Members of Silver Noodle Soup looking joyous

Workshop two: Techniques for disabled improvisors. (For disabled and D/deaf performers with some prior experience, who want to take their improv skills to the next level.)

Scratch Night

26 September at 6:30 PM
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A microphone with a stream of light shining onto it.

Witness a wide range of talent from individuals and groups! Check out how many art forms we can cram into one evening!

Bite-sized work-in-progress, raw, unpolished new and developing pieces from local writers, dancers, makers, and creatives.

DAFT Drag Workshop with Willy Smackntush

29 September at 2:00 PM
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Willy is pictured in full drag mid performance. He is wearing a royal looking purple and gold outfit, a big ginger wig, and a crown to match the outfit.

Discover your drag character, create a catchy name, and bring them to life!

Learn about stage presence, song choice, incorporating your existing talents, and how to drive a crowd wild with excitement!


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A black and white photo of Sumara and WIDance participants. Some people are stationary, some are a blurred by movement.

Join WIDance for a playful dance experience, where we will warm up to some fun tunes, create mini dances, and find new ways of moving and grooving on the dance floor.

DAFT - Chronic Club Cabaret

30 September at 6:30 PM
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Creatif Kate stands in front of a purple background. She is wearing a sparkly blue jumpsuit with lipstick and microphone cover to match.

Celebrate the success of DAFT '23 with MC (and festival co-director) Creatif Kate as she hosts (probably horizontally) an extravaganza of talent from all corners of the cabaret scene. Opera, burlesque, drag, and performance art like you've never seen before!

Body of Work
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Melanie is pictured with her walker, her left leg is raised and she has a grimacing smile on her face. She is wearing a '50s style outfit. The image is repeated in cartoon shadow style in purple with a yellow background.

A one-woman poetry show about having a chronically ill, disabled, plus size fem body.

accessibility information

The accessible ramped entrance with handrails is located to the left of the building front. This provides direct access to the foyer and bar area, and a wheelchair-accessible Box Office counter and bathroom on the ground floor as well as The Stage. There is clear access when you are inside to The Stage and an accessible toilet.