Meet the troupe…
Staircase Contest is an improv troupe that is hosted and sponsored by AllProv. We are a group of improvisers in Denver who are committed to improvisation, creativity, and supporting each other. Some of us identify as having a disability. Everyone in the group is committed to inclusion, justice, and empowerment.
You may ask “why does there need to be a troupe for improvisers committed to disability rights?” That’s a great question and hopefully we can shed some light on that.
Not all performance and rehearsal spaces are physically accessible for everyone. In Staircase Contest, if one of us can’t use a space or a stage, the troupe doesn’t rehearse or perform there.
Not all improv classes and troupes are accessible in terms of coaching and learning for individuals with different learning and expressive styles. In Staircase Contest, we try to make sure to go at a pace that is conducive to learning and engagement for the group. Also, we try to use the different expressive strengths of the group members. For instance, some of us are more comfortable with quick verbal exchanges while others may want to rely more on their expressive movement. While always trying to grow as artists, we also try our best to respect our diverse styles of learning and expression.
When you have a disability or chronic illness, challenges like pain, fatigue, and other stuff can come up a little more often. We try to create a space of understanding and acceptance.
We each have had unique experiences and this shapes our creative voices. No one is defined by disability but having one certainly has an impact on your life and your sense of humor!
We think it is valuable for people of different backgrounds and abilities/disabilities to play together. We all learn from each other!
Our current troupe members are Shelley Ollig, Brian Be, Jaime Lewis, Wade Norby, and Byron Troy. Our coach is Erin Rafaels. We also enjoy working with guest directors from time to time.
If you might be interested in joining Staircase Contest, please send a message to email@example.com for more information and to schedule an audition.