TBTB Receives Sapolin Award from NYC Mayor's Office

Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB) received a 2014 ADA Sapolin Award in recognition of its artistic excellence and commitment to advancing people with disabilities. The award is to be presented by Victor Calise, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, at a reception in honor of the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, on Tuesday, August 19, at the New York Public Library in Manhattan.

The Tier II ADA Sapolin Public Service Award was awarded to Theater Breaking Through Barriers in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the community.

"Theatre Breaking Through Barriers merits this honor for its commitment to advancing actors and writers with disabilities and for helping to change and enhance the perception of people with disabilities from dependence to independence," says Mr. Calise. "[The company] is successfully developing role models for people with disabilities through artistic excellence," adds Mr. Calise.

Signed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has fostered independence, empowerment and inclusion for millions of Americans. Each year, the Mayor and MOPD present four ADA Sapolin Awards recognizing individuals and organizations that have made significant contributionsto increasing accessibility for people with disabilities under the titles of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Sapolin Awards are named after late MOPD Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who passed away on November 29, 2011.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers is an acclaimed Off -Broadway company dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities. Founded in 1979, by Artistic Director Ike Schambelan, TBTB begin as Theater by the Blind, integrating able-bodied, low-vision and blind actors and writers. In 2008, the company expanded its mission to include artists with all physical disabilities. The New York Times has called TBTB "an extraordinary troupe designed to defy expectations."

In 2014, TBTB presented Power Plays, its fourth annual short play festival, featuring new plays by Bekah Brunstetter, Bruce Graham, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, and Neil LaBute. Previous productions include works by Shakespeare, Shaw and Gurney, as well as new plays, including the NY premieres of The Rules of Charity and A Nervous Smile by disabled playwright John Belluso. Nicholas Viselli is the Associate Director of Theater Breaking Through Barriers.

For more information about Theater Breaking Through Barriers, visit www.tbtb.org

Photo courtesy of TBTB

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