The cast of Inside/Out and director Ping Chong (seated). Photo: Rick Guidotti
Inside/Out…voices from the disability community comes to TheTimesCenter March 20-21, from its premiere production at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. VSA arts commissioned Ping Chong & Company (LCI’s Secret History: Journeys Abroad, Journey’s Within) to explore first-hand experiences from the disability community as part of the company’s ongoing series of oral-history theater works that explore issues of culture and identity in America.
Described as both “funny” and “riveting,” the cast’s “performance was consistently powerful and eye-opening,” the Washington Post said. Personal histories are interwoven into a script that is performed by the participants themselves, giving voice to stories that frequently go unheard.
“As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more members of our society are acquiring disability,” said Soula Antoniou, president of VSA arts. “The disability community is both the largest and the fastest-growing minority in America. We wanted to shed light on the disability experience in America in an honest, forthright, and engaging way.”
Participants ranging in age from 24-65 were selected for their personal experience with disability:
• Josh Hecht (Christine Jorgensen Reveals, Lizards, BFF, Girl) is a rising New York director whose mother had multiple sclerosis.
• Monique Holt, performing artist, is an adjunct theater professor at Gallaudet University and director of Mo2 Productions. She was adopted by a Deaf family in the U.S.
• Christopher Imbrosciano is a young actor with cerebral palsy who apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Regional credits include Romeo and Juliet, Making Waves, and Caryl Churchill’s Seagulls at WTF.
• Zazel-Chavah O’Garra, a brain tumor survivor, is a dancer, cover model, and disability advocate. She has performed with the Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey II, and appeared on the cover of Essence magazine twice.
• Vivian Cary Jenkins is a former healthcare administrator who became legally blind later in life.
• Matthew S. Joffe, who was born with Moebius Syndrome, is an actor as well as director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. He has more than 30 years experience as an educational therapist and psychotherapist.
• Blair Wing is producer and director of Supernova Theatre Company. An actress, she has appeared as Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Bernarda Alba in Another Part of the House, and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of 18.
Hear more from the cast members themselves by clicking here.