Starting on March 9, 2019, AllProv will host a monthly All Ability Jam at Grafenberg Productions. on the second Saturday of each month at 7pm. Audience members can volunteer to play with performers on stage. AllProv’s troupe, Staircase Contest, will perform with a special guest storyteller in the Jam’s closing act.
When Grafenberg Productions’ director, Justin Franzen, first approached me and board member Elizabeth Komos about making modifications to his theater so AllProv could host an All Ability Jam, I was very excited! Making venues accessible to all performers is important and it is entirely too rare of an occurrence. If you aren’t a performer with a physical disability, you may not be aware that many stages are not wheelchair accessible. However, that is the unfortunate state of things.
However, does a ramp automatically make an event accessible? How does a ramp promote equity and empowerment? I believe that a ramp and building modifications are necessary (but not sufficient) to reach the goals of equity and empowerment.
My hope for the All Ability Jam, is that we (Staircase Contest performers and coach) push ourselves to be inclusive and empowering to all in ways that extend beyond having physical access. For one, the Jam will feature performers of all abilities/disabilities. Some of us have visible disabilities, some invisible, and some do not identify as having a disability. Performing together is one way to break down silos and learn from each other. We all have unique creative voices that should be shared! My hope for AllProv is that we help to build a supportive community so all feel welcome to watch our show or join in the Jam. I want you to feel good about the show but even more importantly, I want you to feel good about who you are!
Check the blog later for an upcomimg post on Creating Characters without Stereotypes and how that is one of my goals as a performer and coach. That is just one more (seemingly small) move towards equity and empowerment.