Sound Theatre Company Presents: ILLUMINATE: Six Plays By Deaf And Disabled Playwrights

Sound Theatre Company Presents: ILLUMINATE: Six Plays By Deaf And Disabled PlaywrightsSound Theatre Company continues their 2018 season The Human Family: Towards a Radical Inclusion with a groundbreaking play reading series. ILLUMINATE: Six Plays by Deaf and Disabled Playwrights invites Seattle area audiences and artists to experience diverse and authentic representation in these six imaginative and unique plays. The readings are free and open to the public, and will be presented July 12 - 22 at the Center Theatre Black Box. Each play will have at least one ASL interpreted performance.

Seattle based dramaturg, Andrea Kovich, has curated this series of six plays that includes playwrights from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. "By presenting a range of work from accomplished playwrights, as well as the exciting new work of emerging voices, we seek to challenge accepted notions of disability and deconstruct ableism," says Kovich.

Many communities fighting ableism have adopted the phrase "Nothing about us without us" to fight against the dehumanizing narrative tropes and clichés most often depicted in popular culture. An empowering slogan from the disability rights movement, it communicates the importance of centering persons from a marginalized community in the conversations that will affect them, such as policy and representation.

Sound Theatre Company's Artistic Director, Teresa Thuman, acknowledges that this is new for some Seattle audiences. "For years the Seattle theatre community has been engaged in a meaningful discussion about diversity on our stages. This is an ongoing and ever-expanding process and we at Sound Theatre are thrilled to usher in a new experience of inclusion by centering members of the Deaf and disability communities."

This summer Sound Theatre forges a new path for audience, artists and members of the Deaf and disabled communities to join together to celebrate the authentic voices and stories that emerge from lived experience. The reading series will culminate in a full production of Seattle premiere production of the late John Belluso's play The Rules of Charity.

THE PLAYS ILLUMINATE: Six Plays by Deaf and Disabled PlaywrightsCurated by Andrea KovichJuly 12 - 22, Center Theatre Black Box Studio at the Seattle Center Armory**All plays contain mature content and are intended for mature audiences. See website for more information.

A Nervous Smile By John Belluso Directed by Teresa ThumanAnother play from the playwright of The Rules of Charity, a wealthy New York couple, strained to the breaking point by caring for their severely disabled daughter, Emily, weigh their own happiness against that of their child-with shocking consequences.

UltrasoundBy Adam PottleDirected by Maggie Rogers and Kellie MartinUltrasoundtells the story of a couple, Miranda and Alphonse, and what they go through when they attempt to conceive a child. The play explores the consequences of eugenics through the Deaf experience, and asks the question, "In what circumstances would someone not want a child that's different than them?"

The Things We CarryBy Oya Mae Duchess-DavisDirected by Shermona Mitchell The magic realism ofThe Things We Carry takes place in Brooklyn, New York in 1990. The roots of the past run deep for the grieving Lyon family. Haunted by a horrible loss, the family struggles to face their fears and find a way to move on with their lives. SchismBy Athena StevensDirector Amanda Friou Failed architect Harrison has plans to make tonight the last night of his life, when Katherine, a young student, breaks into his house in her wheelchair and begs for his help. As their chaotic first encounter turns into the beginning of a twenty year relationship, the unlikely couple grow to realize that they are capable of either building something great together - or absolutely destroying each other. PeelingBy Kaite O'ReillyDirected by Maggie RogersAn epic, post-modern production of The Trojan Women: Then and Nowis in progress. Stuck at the back--unlit, but onstage--are the Chorus: Beaty, Coral and Alfa, three performers rendered almost immobile in their multi-layered, preposterous frocks. They spend most of the production waiting to say a few lines so that the management feel they have done their bit for "social inclusion". While they wait, they gossip and bitch, lie and heckle.

Preying HandsBy Howie Seago A new workshop version of a play by Howie Seago, Preying Handsis a drama inspired by actual events. A group of Deaf students in 1960s Milwaukee, grow up to seek justice from the Catholic priest who abused them and the church that ignored their plight. ABOUT THE ARTISTSAndrea Kovich Dramaturg, Curator

Andrea is a Seattle-based freelance dramaturg, writer, and member of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas). Particularly passionate about social justice issues-including equity, diversity, and inclusion-she is especially interested in the representation of the disability community in theatre. Past internships include working with San Diego Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Taproot Theatre Company. She's currently a dramaturg in Umbrella Project's 2018 Writers Group. In addition to curating the reading series, she will be Dramaturg for The Rules of Charity. Andrea earned a Masters of Arts in Theatre Arts (with an emphasis in Dramaturgy) from San Diego State University. UPCOMING in August at Sound Theatre CompanyThe Rules of Charity, By John BellusoDirected by Leah Adcock-StarrAugust 4 - 25, 2018Center Theatre at the Seattle Center Armory

Seattle Premiere of this provocative and subversive play by the late John Belluso, a playwright who championed honest portrayals of people with disabilities. The older generation clashes with the younger in this "lacerating critique of altruism" (SF Weekly). Monty, a brilliant queer father who has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, spars with his care-taker daughter in the haunting relationship at the heart of this play that examines what it means to be disabled and marginalized in modern American society.Contains Mature Content.

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