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BWW Blog: 'Steve And Tom II: This Time, It's Personal' with Roaring Epiphany Theatre Company

Roaring Epiphany Theatre Company strives for inclusive casting. Their next event is "Steve And Tom II: This Time, It's Personal" on May 27th, 2021.

BWW Blog: 'Steve And Tom II: This Time, It's Personal' with Roaring Epiphany Theatre Company
Poster courtesy of Steven Hayet.

Being a special education teacher, RJ VerChaud noticed that once his students passed a certain age, there were no longer activities for them to participate in. And so, he founded a theatre company to make up for the lack.

The Roaring Epiphany Theatre Company, also called REPC, strives to use an inclusive casting model. "No judgments, just talent," says VerChaud, "We're based on the idea that, if given the opportunity, we can change social norms in theatre and give people with disabilities a voice."

Their mission statement is as follows: "To use an inclusive casting method, to produce both pre-existing and new works featuring artists of all abilities, especially those who would usually be excluded from professional performance opportunities due to their disabilities."

In addition to speaking to Roaring Epiphany's founder, I had the pleasure of speaking with their two resident playwrights: Tom Misuraca and Steven Hayet. Tom first became involved with the company when they produced his play FALLING BODIES. Steve has a similar story, with the REPC production of his work DATE WITH DEATH.

Steve and Tom write plays tailored to those who audition. They wrote plays specifically for Zoom with the pandemic, aptly named "A Night with Steve and Tom." The first "Night of Steve and Tom" was held in January 2021. Their works average 20 minutes and are cast by the playwrights. Most of the actors that are a part of the Roaring Epiphany Theatre Company are on the autism spectrum.

"There are people that you work with that remind you why you love theatre," says Hayet, "and that's what it is like working with this group of actors on the spectrum. Their passion for art is amazing. And, if there's a nice part about theatre in the pandemic, it's that we can bring people together geographically."

Their next event is "Steve And Tom II: This Time, It's Personal" on May 27th, 2021. VerChaud gave the actors a survey asking them what kind of character they would like to play for this event. Then, Steve and Tom had to include as many of the requested traits as possible. If you're interested in attending this event, get tickets here.

RJ, Steve, and Tom are doing their part to highlight disabled voices in the arts. To get involved with REPC, visit roaringepiphany.com.


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