Once upon a time a young girl called Dorothy woke up in a land called Oz, filled with strange little people, talking scarecrows, cowardly lions and tin men. Over the weekend past, The MISFIT project, which has a long association with IOE, held it’s performances of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and took many audience members on that journey with Dorothy; but this story isn’t hers. It’s the story of Jen the giant Munchkin.

Sometimes we can need a bit of support to be a part of our community, and this was the case for a young girl called Semina, who decided over a year and a half ago that she wanted to join her local theatre group, MISFIT Juniors. Semina requires a fair bit of support with communication, as she has very limited verbal communication and thus requires support for interacting with her peers.

In Feb 2017, over a year and a half ago, Semina and her support worker Jen joined the group. At first it wasn’t easy, but Jen didn’t give up, she kept persisting, finding new ways to show others how to interact, finding ways to adapt activities to work for Semina and joining in, regardless of how silly she might feel or look, she kept persisting and we all at MISFIT are so glad she did.

Over the weekend past we had our performances of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ and seeing the seamless way Jen joined in, singing, signing and dancing. Supporting not just Semina, but many others in the group to feel confident and comfortable out on the stage. Jen wasn’t just supporting the actors, she was one of the actors, playing a Munchkin, a flying monkey and Oz City girl. She joined in with everything and is always willing to learn and try new things.

Both Semina and MISFIT have been incredibly lucky to have Jen as a part of the group. She is a true example of how consistent support and being inclusive can help change people’s lives and support them find a place to belong in their own community.

Sarah Ward  MISFIT CEO/Creative Director