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Making Theater More (Disability) Accessible

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Arts, theater, people with disabilities, Victory Gardens Access Project, Chicago Reporter, Bennett Gordon,

People with disabilities have been portrayed in theater for hundreds of years. Modern theaters, however, don’t always cater to patrons with disabilities and characters with disabilities are often absent from the stage. The Victory Gardens Access Project aims to change that by providing closed-captioning, sign-language, Braille programs, and other services to expand access to theater. The project has also created Crip Slam, a program to produce plays that explore disability culture. The project’s co-director Mike Ervin talked to The Chicago Reporter about the theater for people with disabilities and the effect that it can have. He said:

The artistic [aspect] is very important. People want to tell their stories on stage, and we want the voices to be authentic. Showing the genuine disability experience has larger political benefits in how people view you, because how people view you plays a big role in how they treat you, and how you view yourself plays a big role in how you treat yourself.

Source: The Chicago Reporter