History

Joanne Lewis-Margolius was only nineteen when she founded MEAC. To her great credit and as a testimony to all her hard work the company, which began as a local English theater troupe, developed into an International company. Following an AA degree at Barnet Art College, Joanne began a fashion degree at the Middlesex University. However, near to its completion, she embarked on a summer of voluntary work with a drama group called Action Space London Events. This was to change her life. The group introduced Joanne to the world of the disabled and theatrical expression. Inspired by this experience Joanne felt the need to create her own ideas about expression. She left college and trained with mime Adam Darius, ballet dancer Jacky Hands. and movement teacher Ronald Wilson. MEAC was born.

It began with a seven page proposal, a budget of $300 for equipment.

"Our presentation will consist of various instruments, costumes and props, but the key element we will use is our imagination. Our success will be measured by the energy put in by volunteers and artists alike. The. response of our participants, I hope, will be one of renewed motivation and expressed feelings of recognition as the individual is drawn out."

In response to the proposal, the Haringey Arts Council provided the first grant in support of establishing the organization. In March, 1986" The Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Adults (MENCAP) took MEAC under its wing by providing insurance and administrative assistance which allowed the group to reach its. financial and professional 'goals. Local disability organizations gathered together groups of children and adults to participate in the twice weekly evening shows, and London based schools welcomed MEAC into their classrooms. The Borough of Haringey provided the troupe with a performance space and office - By July of 1986, the vision had become a reality.