What is disability and how
do we define it? These questions permeate Nicu Spoon's production of Richard
III, associate produced by Identity Theater Company. The premise: everyone is
disabled, except for Richard. By turning the tables, these companies hope to
re-invent how we think about disability.
The production, directed
by Stephanie Barton-Farcas, features nine actors with real life disabilities.
This is no small feat in and of itself. The disabilities, include but are not
limited to,:Cerebral Palsy, Sensory Integration Disorder, Amputees, Spinal
Injuries, Physical Impairments, Little People, Spinal Injuries, and Mental
Illness, The ensemble is extremely dedicated to the mission of this project and
every rehearsal is filled with enthusiasm and inspiration.
The idea for this
production came in 2007 after, Executive Director of Identity Theater Company,
Nicholas Linnehan met with a friend after seeing Nicu Spoon's production of
this show. The idea was discussed and it immediately took hold in Nickolas'
brain. He vowed to one day produce this show and now it is happening.
What can the audience
expect? The unexpected. “We are literally taking every notion of what people
think about this show and Shakespeare and throwing it out the window” claims
Associate Producer Nicholas Linnehan.
Guy Ventoliere (Richard)
In this very distinctive version of Richard III, audiences do not
get the traditional take on the story. But instead, this production turns any
expectation on its head. Guy Ventoliere, plays Richard. Traditionally
played as a hunchback but Ventoliere has no disability.
Nicholas Linnehan and Guy Ventoliere (Queen Margaret and Richard)
Nicholas Linnehan, an actor with Cerebral Palsy, plays Queen
Estelle Olivia, a female, plays many male characters. These
are just a few examples of the risks this production takes. They definitely
think outside the box. Additionally, the costumes and original music composed
by Damon Law give this piece a steam punk feel, which defies any preconceived
notion that the audience may have.
But what's most remarkable is that you have nine talented disabled
actors working together to make this show happen. They truly prove that there
is ability in
terrific lighting by Steven Wolf and outstanding direction by Stephanie
Barton-Farcas this is a must see production.
III plays now through October 11th at the Secret Theater in Long Island City,
4402 23rd St www.spoontheater.org
Richard III plays
September 29, through October 11, 2015 at The Secret Theater in Long Island
City. Tickets on sale at www.spoontheater.org and www.identitytheater.com