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United Voices Showcases Experiences of People with Disabilities

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On Thursday May 23rd and Friday May 24th, the ADAPT theatre group gave two amazing performances of their originally written United Voices play. The play was the second rendition of United Voices by ADAPT’s theatre group. The first rendition took place in winter of 2022. In 2022, United Voices was a “Verbatim Theatre Project,” which means all dialogue was transcribed word-for-word from an interview and performed without change. This most recent rendition weaves personal storytelling and narrative scenes to explore disability rights and disability justice through theatre. The cast whimsically led the audience through a series of interpersonal and systemic ableism the writers and actors experience regularly.

The play, which the theatre group had been writing and rehearsing for months prior, featured actors at ADAPT, with some staff members assisting in narration and translation.

When the lights dimmed on Thursday, the preparations that ADAPT’s theater enthusiasts had made began to show. The evening was filled with thought provoking monologues, hilarious skits (both recorded and live), and well executed set changes.

Throughout the play, serious and emotional themes were tastefully met with comedic relief. One of the skits featured a couple with disabilities at the doctor’s office. When the doctor, played by Christopher Taylor, is shocked that the couple is pregnant, they become very offended and question the doctor’s experience and credentials. Periodically through this scene, the rest of the cast chimes in and admonishes the doctor in unison, “What’s wrong with you?!” “This guy’s a doctor?!” drawing laughter from the audience.

William Branch, a longtime theater veteran at ADAPT, couldn’t wait to get out on stage and strut his stuff. When asked what motivates him to continue participating in ADAPT theater he said, “Because it is fun, cool, and entertaining; I am excited about it and know that I’m going to do well- I’m seriously going to break a leg!” William’s performance as an evil boss with disdain for his disabled employee drew many laughs from the audience. This scene depicted Angela, facing workplace challenges due to health issues, advocating for reasonable accommodations from her manager, Drew. With the support of an advocate, Angela asserts her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), leading to a constructive dialogue and a commitment to addressing her access needs for a more inclusive workplace. Using comedic relief this empowering scene underscores the importance of knowing one’s rights and advocating for oneself in the workplace. The employee’s assertiveness with her ableist boss, backed by legal knowledge, not only secures her accommodations but also paves the way for a more inclusive work environment for current and future employees with disabilities. A lesson we can all learn from.

Other parts of the show were more emotional and thought-provoking. Alya Almathil spoke alone to the audience about relying on her care team and loved ones in “Team Disability.” Tony Switzer also had a monologue, choosing to focus on his relationship with his parents in “Don’t Grieve Me.” Each scene painted a unique picture of what it is to live with a disability in a world that is not designed with disability in mind. As our actors, playwrights, and advocates move toward creating a more inclusive world, they hope to film the scenes from the play and take it out into the community as a tool for educating young people about disabilities. As disabled creatives they also hope to continue to build stronger connections with the larger disability art community. That endeavor is already underway as following the performances Voices of a People’s History—an arts, education, and social justice non-profit who we are connected to and invited to the performance— reached out to request the script for one of the scenes so they could add it to their archive of scripts that their actors can choose from for the performances that they put on. Big things are in store so stay tuned for more. Until then join us in dreaming of a joyfully disabled future.

ADAPT offers an array of acting and theatre projects as well as a range of other educational and recreational opportunities. For more information about these offerings, please contact Project Connect at or 877-827-2666.



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