Content and themes about disability, central characters with disabilities, and roles for actors with disabilities-- Mixed Blood's fall festival offers it all in a line-up of three disparate but complementary plays that promise to excite, incite and delight.
My Secret Language of Wishes by Cori Thomas
Directed by Marion McClinton
Opening Night: November 11, 7 p.m.
A gripping drama by Cori Thomas (author of Pillsbury House's 2010 Pa's Hat and winner of the American Theatre Critics Association's 2011 Osborne New Play Award), My Secret Language of Wishes explores unconditional love, the definitions of family, and the complexities and legalities at the intersection of race and custodial care. An African American attorney agrees to represent a black 17-year-old with cerebral palsy, as her white 23-year-old caregiver and an affluent African American realtor vie for custody. Contemporaneously, the attorney ponders becoming a mother and co-parent with her Dominican partner. An ensemble of six women, led by Jevetta Steele, discovers the meaning of love without boundaries: black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor, with or without disability.
On the Spectrum by Ken LaZebnik
World premiere commissioned by Mixed Blood Theatre
Directed by Jack Reuler
Opening Night: November 12, 7 p.m.
Is autism a disability or a difference? This simple but profound question is at the center of a new play by Ken La Zebnik (author of Mixed Blood's Vestibular Sense and Theory of Mind and winner of the American Theatre Critics Association's 2007 Osborne New Play Award). A young man with Aspberger's, passing as "typical" after years of mainstreaming and therapy, connects online with a woman who proudly champions her autism as a difference, not a disorder. This love story between an "aspie" and an "autie" reveals the contradictions between finding success as yourself and on the world's terms, and the conflict between the desire for acceptance and the desire for achievement. To greatly expand access to this production, Mixed Blood will live stream a performance for those unable to attend and offer a digital version of the show after its run.
To be announced
Opening Night: November 11, 9:30 p.m.
A third play in the festival will feature deaf actress Alexandria Wailes and showcase "shadow signing" in which American Sign Language interpreters move alongside actors to sign and voice for them. Wailes, last seen at Mixed Blood in Love Person, has been on Broadway and in the national tour of Big River, in The Public Theater's Mother Courage with Meryl Streep, and on television's The West Wing.
Visit the Center of the Margins: A Festival Exploring the Complex World of Disability website: