Seeking participants for live theatre production

Are you a woman living with a disability/ difference or a practicing clinician? We want to hear your story

REDLAB/Revisioning Differences Mobile Media Arts Lab is seeking participants for a live theatre production exploring the medical gaze on the disabled body. Engaging with the transformative possibilities of live theatre, this project seeks to highlight personal stories of disability and difference and impact clinicians’ attitudes and actions toward those with disability. Selected participants will work in collaboration with multi-award winning playwright Judith Thompson to develop the script and perform the play in Sudbury, Peterborough, and Toronto.

The playwright: Judith Thompson

One of Canada’s most respected playwrights, Judith Thompson’s work highlights the experiences of individuals on the edges of society, boldly exploring the depths and complicated contours of human experience. Recently, her work has centred on experiences of illness and disability, including youth living with chronic conditions (‘Sic’), those with Down Syndrome (‘Rare’), persons with spinal cord injury, and a play featuring the story of Elora Dixon, lawyer and disability rights activist (‘The Thrill’), based on the debates between Harriet McBryde Johnson and Peter Singer. In these productions and others, Thompson often works collaboratively, holding workshops with individuals who are living the experiences being explored, and building scripts informed by their personal stories. Her plays often feature non-professional actors.

Stage 1: Interviews

(Young Centre, Toronto, October 16, 18, and 19)

We are seeking individuals who are open to sharing their personal stories in a live theatre production. Those invited to apply include:

1. Women with lived experience of disability (physical and mental)

2. Men and women working as clinicians

Informal group interviews will be held October 9, 11, and 16 in Toronto and will run for three hours. No theatrical experience is required and participants do not need to prepare an audition piece. Focus is on sharing stories. We welcome a diversity of voices, including persons of all ages, races/ ethnicities, socio-economic status, sexual orientations, and more.

Stage 2: Workshops

(Toronto, November 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27)

After the interviews are held up to seven individuals will be selected to participate in the live theatre production. Those persons selected are asked to commit to attend all of the script development workshops in November and each of the performance dates in March (see below).

Stage 3: Performances

(Toronto, Peterborough, Sudbury, March 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 27, 28)*

Performances will be held in Toronto, Sudbury, and Peterborough for audiences including students in health-related programs and practicing clinicians.

Interested in participating in one of the interview sessions? Contact:

Nick Hutcheson (nicholas.hutcheson@gmail.com) or

Brenda Surminski (brenda@bresonproductions.com)

Some support for travel/ accommodation may be available to those residing outside Toronto

*The March 27th and 28th dates might shift.

Those individuals participating in the live theatre production will be paid

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 56951