my experience with Opening Doors

my experience with Opening Doors

A Placement Experience with Opening Doors Association.


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My name is Shane Shelmerdine and I’m from a small town in the North West of the UK called Horwich, where theatre and performance or the arts aren’t very popular. My aspiration of theatre started rather late in life, at around the age of 16, when I performed in my first theatre production of ‘Road‘ by Jim Cartwright. From there on I have been a part of over 18 different performances, including a short film called ‘Boiling Point’ which featured Stephen Graham.

I then continued my studies and pursued an extended diploma in performance arts. I then went on to study performing arts at Edge Hill while making political performance my main area of research. While doing this course I got the opportunity to travel to Malta to do my Erasmus+ year, which has led me to where I am now.

Through  the  University  of  Malta,  I  was  able  to  get  a  placement  with  Opening  Doors Association Theatre level 2 group. To be honest, I had no idea what this organisation was or what they did but it was highly recommended to me to take this opportunity, which I am proud to say I did and carry no regrets.

Before my first session I was nervous about what to expect and I was full of anxiety. I learnt that I needn’t have worried as from the moment I entered the room until the moment I left, I felt warm and accepted. In my first session I was introduced to the collective group and had the opportunity to help them come up with ideas and to give suggestions on how they can create material for their upcoming performance at the ‘World Disability Day – My Time to Shine’ event. I absolutely loved getting involved!

I also learnt how passionate the group leader, Mr Andrea Grancini, is when one of the group members told a  story  about  discrimination. The way Andrea  and  the  group  reacted  really affected me emotionally and I never felt closer to a group that I hadn’t known for more than 20 minutes.

After I left, I was excited and eager for the next sessions. I feel it has been really inspiring to be  a  part  of  something  bigger  than  myself.  The  passion  and  commitment  of  the  team  is amazing, and I am really looking forward to the rest of my placement.

For more information about World Disability Day – My Time to Shine please visit:

The event will be held at Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier in Valletta on the 3rd  December 2019.

Workshop/performance at 10.30am – 12pm and open discussion at 5.30pm – 7.30pm.

Reserve your place by sending an email to [email protected]m