This past weekend a group of performers with disabilities took the stage at the Asper Centre for Theatre & Film as part of Lame Is… A Disability Cabaret.
The production was presented by Sick + Twisted Theatre with Debbie Patterson, one of the founders of Shakespeare in the Ruins and an artistic associate at the Prairie Theatre Exchange. Last year, Debbie played Richard in Shakespeare in the Ruins. It was the first time a professional Canadian production featured a disabled actor in that role. Debbie says, “There just aren’t enough disabled actors working in Canada. I want to do what I can to develop more more performers with disabilities.”
Each performer created their own vignette, receiving mentoring from a theatre professional.
Debbie says, “I didn’t want to make a show about how hard it is when you’re disabled and how people should feel sorry for us. The intention of this is to do a professional production that gives the audience an understanding of who they are through the exploration of who we are with our disabilities, to find the universal truths of the human condition that are most evident when you have to negotiate with your vulnerabilities on a daily basis. We use our disabilities as super powers that allow us to explore aspects of the human condition that most would rather recoil from or hide from.”