National Theater Company Run by Disabled Actors and Staff is Coming Our Way
National Disability Theatre, run by disabled actors and staff, has kicked off in preparation of the 2019-2020 season. Established to create fully-accessible, live, world-class productions, National Disability Theatre will work to change the narrative and social policy on disability inclusion.
National Disability Theatre is committed to exclusively contracting with people who have disabilities including actors, designers, directors, and staff. Its 10 Advisory Company Members are comprised of accomplished actors and professionals who are also disabled. Click here to read about the individuals below.
Micah Fowler (Speechless)
Ali Stroker (Glee and Spring Awakening)
Zack Anner (Speechless and SoulPancake)
Jamie Brewer (Amy and the Orphans and American Horror Story)
Josh Castille (Spring Awakening)
Gregg Mozgala (Teenage Dick and The Cost of Living)
Haben Girma (First Deafblind Harvard Law Graduate)
Nicole Kelly, (Amputee, Miss Iowa, and Miss America Contestant)
Nic Novicki (Boardwalk Empire)
Katy Sullivan (Paralympian and The Cost of Living)
Maysoon Zayid (TED speaker)
Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld)
"Why National Disability Theatre now? Because we need hope. Because right now we need empathy." says National Disability Theatre co-executive director Mickey Rowe.
"A company producing large-scale professional work run entirely by people with disabilities will show the world that our differences really are our strengths," said Rowe, who is himself on the autism spectrum. "We will impact industries beyond our own, demonstrating that people with disabilities can efficiently and productively undertake professional work at the highest level and that accessibility is not only right - but also profitable. We want to flip the script and eliminate the single story of people with disabilities, showing that we are neither inspirational nor charity cases, just powerful and ferocious professionals."
According to a study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, 95 percent of disabled characters on popular television shows were played by able-bodied people.
20 percent of Americans have a disability, which makes people with disabilities the largest minority group in the United States and the least represented.
"Access and innovation go hand in hand. Including people of all abilities is a wildly creative act," said Talleri A. McRae, who has cerebral palsy and is a National Disability Theatre co-executive director.
Each performance will include open captioning, active listening systems, interpreters, audio description, and more. This accessibility will be built directly into the fabric of each shows artistic designs. Learn more about the National Disability Theatre by visiting: www.nationaldisabilitytheatre.org or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPqJvWWKYcSjNHs-j1qRoPw.
National Disability Theatre is currently seeking partnerships with large existing regional theatres and performing arts institutions.
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