Theater Breaking Through Barriers

Todays Date: 12/06/19
Last Update: 03/07/12 09:22:18 AM
 
User Login
Web Site: www.tbtb.org
Toggle View: Show Company Members

Theater Breaking Through Barriers, formerly Theater by the Blind, is a critically acclaimed company integrating able-bodied actors with artists with disabilities. Founded in 1979, by Artistic Director Ike Schambelan, the company's mission is to change the image of people with disabilities from one of dependence to independence, to fight stereotypes and misperceptions associated with disability, and to show how vibrant, fluid and exuberant the work of artists with disabilities can be.


Schedule of Upcoming Productions

No New Productions Scheduled

Production History

Bass for Picasso  | Open: 03/17/10 Close: 05/23/10
In BASS FOR PICASSO, amputee and food writer for the New York Times Francesca Danieli throws a dinner party for her friends recreating recipes (including the titular entrée) from the Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. The guest list includes Pilar, her multilingual art detective lover, who has spent time in Guantanamo for visa problems; Bricka Matson, a lesbian widow with a small child and Republican in-laws who are trying to gain custody; Joe, an OB/GYN whose lover is a geographically challenged crystal meth addict; and Kev, a playwright who has recently fallen off the wagon and written a soon-to-open
Off-Broadway play about all of them. It's an insanely funny, irreverent look at gay and lesbian life in the new millennium.

BASS FOR PICASSO stars Anita Hollander, an actress who lost her leg to cancer and is best known for her one-woman show, STILL STANDING, which has been performed at the White House, Off-Broadway, and throughout the United States. Ms. Hollander serves as East Coast National Chair of the AFTRA Performers with Disabilities committee. Her credits include Public Theater's revival of WOYZECK, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis, the world premiere of John Belluso's GRETTY GOOD TIME at Kennedy Center (Helen Hayes Award nomination), and TBTB's production of John Belluso's A NERVOUS SMILE, directed by Mr. Schambelan, performed at last year's International Festival of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Zagreb, Croatia.

Joining Ms. Hollander in the cast are Mary Archbold (Outstanding Actor, FringeNYC Excellence Award-winner for JAZZ HAND: TALES OF A ONE ARMED WOMAN); Felice Neals (Hourglass Group's FLIRTING WITH THE EDGE), Terry Small (TBTB's THE MIDDLE AGES), and Nicholas Viselli (TBTB's revival of A.R. Gurney's THE COCKTAIL HOUR).

Playwright Kate Moira Ryan -- author of 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER, THE BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES, OTMA, CAVEDWELLER, and most recently MOMMY QUEEREST (IT'S JEWDY'S SHOW!) -- has crafted a funny, deeply touching look inside the life of five driven New Yorkers, including a woman whose disability is a part of her life, but does not
define it. That's the way it works for so many of the 54,000,000 Americans, nearly 20% of all U.S. citizens, who deal with a
disability.

grayDot
Merchant Of Venice  | Open: 04/14/12 Close: 05/13/12
Theater Breaking Through Barriers' take on Shakespeare's classic THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will be performed in one hour and forty minutes with no intermission, with seven actors, including five with disabilities. A comedy about 4 contracts and 4 outcasts, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE follows a Christian merchant and his relationship with a Jewish moneylender. The contracts deal with flesh, rings, caskets, and livery; and the play asks how you respond to a broken deal: with justice or mercy.

Artistic Director Ike Schambelan states, "'Merchant' is usually seen as a play dealing with anti-Semitism. We think it's about otherness in general since in addition to a Jew, it has a Muslim, a Hispanic, and a blind man — the blind scene is almost always cut." All four of the "others" will be played by one actor, Nicholas Viselli, showing the parallels of prejudice based on race, religion, and disability in a multicultural society that's an international trading center. Be it Venice in 1600 or NYC now, it's a place where cultures clash and conflicts ensue.

The ensemble of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE includes TBTB company members and newcomers, Mary Theresa Archbold, Melanie Boland, Stephen Drabicki, David Harrell, Gregg Mozgala, Pamela Sabaugh, and Nicholas Viselli.


About the Company: Theater Breaking Through Barriers

Theater Breaking Through Barriers, formerly Theater by the Blind, is a critically acclaimed company integrating able-bodied actors with artists with disabilities. Founded in 1979, by Artistic Director Ike Schambelan, the company's mission is to change the image of people with disabilities from one of dependence to independence, to fight stereotypes and misperceptions associated with disability, and to show how vibrant, fluid and exuberant the work of artists with disabilities can be.

grayDot