A budding young actor with additional support needs has secured his first job at Dundee Rep after nine years of involvement with the company.
Dedicated Blair Morris, 17, has been appointed creative assistant at the Rep, where he will be responsible for offering support and guidance to younger people with additional requirements.
As part of his role, Blair, who suffers from a range of symptoms including hearing loss and speech and language difficulties, will help build young performer’s confidence and develop their creativity through drama and theatre techniques.
The former Gowriehill Primary pupil’s appointment coincides with the launch of Young Illuminate, a new youth theatre created by Dundee Rep Creative Learning for young people with learning disabilities aged from five to 16 years of age.
Blair, who has just started sixth year at Kingspark School, began his performing arts career with Menzieshill Drama Group aged nine.
His first performance came in 2008 at Camperdown Zoo and he has since appeared in pantos, talent shows and a range of performances at Dundee Rep.
Blair’s proud mum Pamela said the role is not only a dream come true for her son but has allowed him to cope with his disability.
“Blair has Goldenhar Syndrome, which leads to global development delay, hearing loss and speech and language difficulties,” she said.
“We feel Blair’s acceptance in community drama has helped with his additional needs and hearing and communication barriers.
“He has really flourished as he is encouraged to be himself, and as a result his confidence has greatly improved.
“We can’t express our pride when we see the joy that emanates from him when he is on stage.”
Dundee Rep’s community and wellbeing facilitator Amanda Lowson described Blair as “a huge asset to the Creative Learning team at the Rep”.
She added: “Blair has been coming to the Rep for many years now and he is well-known and very popular with everyone here.
“He loves to pass on his experience and always helps put the younger kids at ease, so he is a perfect fit for the youth theatre, Young Illuminate, which will provide a great opportunity for young people of all ages to engage with the theatre in a fun, safe and supportive creative space.
“It is a pleasure to have Blair here and we are so pleased that he will be staying with us once he leaves school.”