Ford Foundation Gifts $50,000 To National Disability Theatre
National Disability Theatre has received a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. These funds will support the National Disability Theatre's mission of employing professional theatre artists who create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling; change social policy and the nation's narrative about disability culture; and provide a guiding model in accessibility for the arts and cultural sector.
In addition to general operating funds, the Ford Foundation grant will allow National Disability Theatre to work with Beyond the Divide consulting to create a strategic plan. This will be invaluable in ensuring that we have the strongest possible start and move forward in the best direction both during and after our partnerships with La Jolla Playhouse and The Goodman Theatre this year. In addition to guiding us internally, this plan will help us better communicate our decision-making and reasoning in the future to potential funders and stakeholders.
In its first year, National Disability Theatre will partner with La Jolla Playhouse in California and The Goodman Theatre in Chicago on their co-commission of a new work by Pulitzer Prize finalist Christopher Shinn, to be directed and designed by artists and artisans with disabilities for casts of actors with disabilities!
La Jolla Playhouse will also be commissioning National Disability Theatre's Advisory Company Member Gregg Mozgala to write their 2020 Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour - a play for young audiences that tours local elementary schools.
National Disability Theatre's co-executive directors Mickey Rowe and Talleri A. McRae will also serve as Artists-in-Residence at La Jolla Playhouse for their 2019/2020 season as these new plays are workshopped and created.
National Disability Theatre's advisory company members include Micah Fowler (Cerebral Palsy) you know him as JJ DiMeo on ABC's Speechless; Tony Nominee Ali Stroker (Paralyzed Wheelchair User) Broadway's Spring Awakening and Oklahoma; Zach Anner (Cerebral Palsy Wheelchair User), writer and actor on ABC's Speechless; Danny Woodburn (Dwarfism), from Seinfeld; Jamie Brewer (Down Syndrome), from American Horror Story and Amy in Roundabout's Amy and the Orphans; Maysoon Zayid (Cerebral Palsy), TED speaker with over five million views; Katy Sullivan (Double Below the Knee Amputee), Paralympian, TED Speaker, and star of Manhattan Theatre Club's The Cost of Living; Nicole Kelly (Amputee), Miss Iowa; Josh Castille (Deaf), from Broadway's Spring Awakening; John McGinty (Deaf), from Broadway's Children of a Lesser God and King Lear; Gregg Mozgala, (Cerebral Palsy), from Teenage Dick at The Public and The Cost of Living at Manhattan Theatre Club; Haben Girma (Deafblind), the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change; Lawrence Carter-Long; Nick Novicki; and Ryan Haddad.