At the Intersection of Disability and Drama

A Critical Anthology of New Plays


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About the Book

“Cripples ain’t supposed to be happy” sings Anita Hollander, balancing on her single leg and grinning broadly. This moment—from her multi-award-winning one-woman show, Still Standing—captures the essence of this theatre anthology. Hollander and nineteen other playwright-performers craftily subvert and smash stereotypes about how those within the disability community should look, think, and behave. Utilizing the often-conflicting tools of Critical Disability Studies and Medical Humanities, these plays and their accompanying essays approach disability as a vast, intersectional demographic, which ties individuals together less by whatever impairment, difference, or non-normative condition they experience, and more by their daily need to navigate a world that wasn’t built for them. From race, gender, and sexuality to education, dating, and pandemics, these plays reveal there is no aspect of human life that does not, in some way, intersect with disability.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

John Michael Sefel, MFA, PhD, is a Melton Center fellow and co-editor of Texas Theatre Journal. His original plays have been performed in New York City, Boston, and at regional theatres and colleges in several states. He lives in Berkley, Michigan.

Amanda Slamcik Lassetter, MA, is a theatre faculty member at Baylor University, co-editor for Texas Theatre Journal, and executive board member for Therapy Center Stage Productions, a non-profit focused on mental health and healing through the creative and dramatic arts.

Jill Summerville, PhD, is a performer, playwright, and scholar. Her research explores the complexities of putting actors with disabilities onstage.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by John Michael Sefel, Amanda Slamcik Lassetter, Jill Summerville

Foreword by Calvin Arium

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 404
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7847-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4220-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword (Calvin Arium) 1
Preface 5
Introduction (John Michael Sefel) 11

Part One—First Person Singular
STIFF (Sherry Jo Ward) 24
The 2018 Invisible Man (Leroy F. Moore, Jr.) 42
An Open Letter to the Usher at the Theatre Who Asked Me if I Was “the Sick Girl” (Amy Oestreicher) 48
RPM (Graham Bryant) 56
Whack Job (Kate Devorak) 66
I Come from Hoarders (Carly Jo Geer) 83
A Performer’s Monologue (Connor Long) 104
Why This Monologue Isn’t Memorized (A True Story) (Kurt Sass) 109
Tinted (Amy Bethan Evans) 114
Invisidisability (Anonymous) 128
Crooked (seeley quest) 139
Last Train In (Adam Grant Warren) 150

Part Two—Past Is Present
The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman (Carolyn Gage) 170
Tales of My Uncle (Monica Raymond) 193
Gramp (Mandy Fox) 200
Dyscalculia (Katrina Hall) 233
Part Three—Alone, Together
The Brechtones (Billy Butler) 262
Hiccups (Ben Rosenblatt) 290
Ex/centric Fixations Project (Bree Hadley) 317
The Plague Plays (Bradley Cherna) 345
Still Standing (Anita Hollander) 362

Afterword (John Michael Sefel) 381
About the Contributors 389
Index 395