The Apothetae

The Apothetae The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full-length plays about the "Disabled Experience." In his play "The Rules of Charity," the late John Belluso wrote about "the apothetae," a chasm in Ancient Greece where disabled and deformed infants were thrown away.
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I knew John and had the pleasure to perform in "The Rules Of Charity" Off-Broadway in 2007. Every night during performance I listened as the character of Monty said that, disabled people have no collective history because from the dawn of time they weren't allowed to have a history. I was moved by these words- and also saddened- because I knew John had hit upon an unsettling truth. Since that production I have been thinking of a way to take action to change this. One of the reasons I am starting this new company is to continue the work that John was dedicated to achieving in his work. In homage to him I am naming the company, The Apothetae. The term literally translates to, "the place of exposure," and one of my company's primary goals is the creation of new full-length plays that will make visible the Disabled Experience, both personal and collective, throughout history. The company is still in it's infancy, but we are off to a great start. I have currently commissioned four writers, three abled bodied and one disabled, to write four new plays. "Good Dancer" by Emily Chadick Weiss, had its first public reading on Wednesday June 13th, 2012 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. The Apothetae has been invited to The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to workshop all four plays at its annual Page to Stage Festival in September of this year and Dixon Place Theatre has agreed to a co-production of Clay MacLeod Chapman's play, inspired by the 1920 Lon Chaney silent film, "The Penalty." The play is currently in development and scheduled for June 2013. I believe in the transformative power of theatre. Through the collaborative experience of the artistic process I believe the disabled experience can be more sincerely and accurately reflected on stage, that new communities can be forged, perceptions changed and barriers to understanding and empathy can be shattered.

I knew John and had the pleasure to perform in "The Rules Of Charity" Off-Broadway in 2007. Every night during performance I listened as the character of Monty said that, disabled people have no collective history because from the dawn of time they weren't allowed to have a history. I was moved by these words- and also saddened- because I knew John had hit upon an unsettling truth. Since that production I have been thinking of a way to take action to change this. One of the reasons I am starting this new company is to continue the work that John was dedicated to achieving in his work. In homage to him I am naming the company, The Apothetae. The term literally translates to, "the place of exposure," and one of my company's primary goals is the creation of new full-length plays that will make visible the Disabled Experience, both personal and collective, throughout history. The company is still in it's infancy, but we are off to a great start. I have currently commissioned four writers, three abled bodied and one disabled, to write four new plays. "Good Dancer" by Emily Chadick Weiss, had its first public reading on Wednesday June 13th, 2012 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. The Apothetae has been invited to The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to workshop all four plays at its annual Page to Stage Festival in September of this year and Dixon Place Theatre has agreed to a co-production of Clay MacLeod Chapman's play, inspired by the 1920 Lon Chaney silent film, "The Penalty." The play is currently in development and scheduled for June 2013. I believe in the transformative power of theatre. Through the collaborative experience of the artistic process I believe the disabled experience can be more sincerely and accurately reflected on stage, that new communities can be forged, perceptions changed and barriers to understanding and empathy can be shattered.

Mission: The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full-length plays about the "Disabled Experience." To do this we will focus on newly commissioned works by both established and up and coming playwrights, and plays that already exist in the theatrical canon featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with disabled themes: Oedipus, Richard III, the Elephant Man, etc. By making visible the human impact of disabled people throughout history, we believe empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed, and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process. An integrated company, the Apothetae will employ both actors with disabilities and able-bodied actors from the larger New York theater scene, from regional theaters around the country and the world. Non-disabled actors and playwrights will be asked to write and say the things about the disabled experience that they think they should not. Disabled actors must respond instead of reacting. Only through honest interaction and collaboration, can habitual perceptions be altered and new ways of being and seeing one another achieved. We live in an age of global networks; we should be creating locally but sharing on a bigger scale. By doing so our art becomes a vehicle for social change by challenging perceived perceptions of our cultural landscape, and by more accurately reflecting our day-to-day reality on the stage; one where people with disabilities not only participate but also thrive.

Operating as usual

The next installment of the, "A Place of Exposure" blog series is live- check it out!
10/10/2020
The Lark

The next installment of the, "A Place of Exposure" blog series is live- check it out!

The sixth installment of our blog series A Place of Exposure, curated in partnership with The Apothetae, is now live! Stage Managers Alyssa K Howard and Peter Royston discuss how they imagine the conversations around their craft could grow to become more equitable and inclusive, and hoping these times can teach our field to afford a higher priority to personal health. Read/watch/listen now!

“’CripTales’ brings to our screens a beautiful collection of short films, curated by the incredibly talented Mat Fraser,...
09/15/2020
BBC America to Premiere ‘CripTales’ in October (EXCLUSIVE)

“’CripTales’ brings to our screens a beautiful collection of short films, curated by the incredibly talented Mat Fraser, shining a light on stories that don’t often make it to primetime,” said Courtney Thomasma, executive director of BBC America. “At times hilarious and at others heart-breaking, these monologues exemplify both the diversity of experience among people living with disabilities and the thoroughly relatable dilemmas we all face in life.”

BBC America is set to premiere “CripTales,” a collection of short films from creatives with disabilities, on Oct. 1 at 10 p.m., Variety has learned exclusively. For National Disability …

"Almost every professional of a certain age who is a member of a minority community knows this: It’s exhausting to be th...
08/27/2020
The Actors With Disabilities Redefining Representation

"Almost every professional of a certain age who is a member of a minority community knows this: It’s exhausting to be the only one in the room. To have eyes looking into yours in search of validation of the enlightenment they showed in hiring you; to wonder if you were employed on a kind of barter system that suggests a return payment in gratitude or compliance. And more than exhausting, it’s distracting; sometimes — most of the time — you just want to do the job.”

These performers are creating a new template for the artist-as-activist, challenging their industry — and their audiences — to reconsider what inclusion really means.

08/07/2020

Check it out! Our friends at Theater Breaking Through Barriers are in the midst of their Second Virtual Playmakers' Intensive: Voices from the Great Experiment, scheduled through August 10th on YouTube nightly at 7:30pm or Facebook at 8:15pm, via ZOOM.

The eight original plays represent a diverse chorus within our American culture, newly created by playwrights Fareeda Ahmed, Enrique Huili, Khalil Lesaldo, Monèt Noelle Marshall, Chris Phillips, Tatiana G. Rivera, Christopher Chan Roberson, and Jeff Tabnick exclusively for and rehearsed entirely on the Zoom platform.

Scrounger by Athena Stevens gets some well deserved ink in the NYTIMES. "It’s worth the effort to track (Scrounger) down...
08/05/2020
The (Virtual) Theatrical Fringe Moves Front and Center

Scrounger by Athena Stevens gets some well deserved ink in the NYTIMES. "It’s worth the effort to track (Scrounger) down because (it is) doing the important work that the avant-garde has always done, only now on your computer and often for free...push(ing) theater toward new content and forms."

Expanding content and experimenting with form, the avant-garde finds a congenial new home online, as two recent offerings demonstrate.

Directors, Brian Balcom and Evan T. Cummings discuss their craft in the latest installment from the "A Place of Exposure...
07/27/2020
Directing and Disability | The Lark

Directors, Brian Balcom and Evan T. Cummings discuss their craft in the latest installment from the "A Place of Exposure" blog series: On Directing and Disability. Enjoy.

Brian Balcom: I mean I understand the desire to not feel like you are pigeon-holed as the Disabled director who does Disabled theater right and tells Disabled stories because we want to be called upon or thought of as a director who is versatile, who can tell different stories of different genres. I understand that.
Evan T. Cummings: But we also want to get work.

"...those roles really didn’t interest me very much, or there just wasn’t any opportunity on live stages. I figure that if I wanted to continue with theater, I needed to find a different outlet."

We ♥️ ADAHAPPY ANNIVERSARY #ADA30
07/26/2020

We ♥️ ADA
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY #ADA30

"I know when I’m sitting down to write, I’m helping establish a canon. We don’t have a set of tried and true classics th...
06/16/2020
Athena Stevens on Box-Ticking & Narrative Control | The Lark

"I know when I’m sitting down to write, I’m helping establish a canon. We don’t have a set of tried and true classics that have been written by individuals with disabilities. I want to write work that has a strong enough story to last because its portrayal of the human condition transcends disability. That means I have to use disability to push the form forward, not just for the sake of ticking a box. I use disability a lot to raise the stakes of a situation. I play a lot with making the audience very uncomfortable with themselves by forcing them to question 'can this actor pull this off without killing themselves?'"

"I really struggled as a writer and a performer who happened to have a disability to get professionals to see me as simply a writer and performer."

Dear friend, mentor, teacher and human being extraordinaire, Kristin Linklater will be laid to rest today:"Now boast the...
06/11/2020

Dear friend, mentor, teacher and human being extraordinaire, Kristin Linklater will be laid to rest today:
"Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies
A lass unparalleled"

The deadline for The Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship has been extended to June 30th! More details on the Lark we...
06/10/2020
Submit a Play | The Lark

The deadline for The Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship has been extended to June 30th! More details on the Lark website!

"The Lark has created a place the imaginative world that is theater is allowed its complete breadth. They support development with passion I've not seen matched."

06/02/2020

"There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives."
-Audre Lorde

"And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,And stand betwixt two churchmen, good my lord""And thus I clothe my naked v...
06/02/2020

"And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
And stand betwixt two churchmen, good my lord"

"And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil."

Act III, Scene 7: Richard III

Check out the work our friends at Theater Breaking Through Barriers are up to!
05/27/2020

Check out the work our friends at Theater Breaking Through Barriers are up to!

Hey TBTB fans! Please check out more details about our first Virtual Playmakers' Intensive happening next week. Make sure to tune in every night at 7:30 pm on Facebook or Youtube from Monday 5/25/20-Sunday 5/31/20! We hope to see you all there!

05/27/2020
The Lark

Apply for The Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship that supports a Deaf/Disabled writer! Links below. Deadline is JUNE 15th, 2020!!!

Last May, Tim J. Lord (2017-19 The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellow) and the beautiful cast presented a workshop production of Tim's play On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed at The Lark's BareBones® program. These special moments we share are the moments we keep forever!!!

Want to create more special moments like this? Don't forget to apply for the #Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship that supports a Deaf/Disabled writer! Deadline is JUNE 15th, 2020!!!

https://www.larktheatre.org/get-involved/submit-play/#Apothetae

Video description:
The cast and playwright (Tim J. Lord) taking a bow and clapping hands at the end of the workshop production of On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed.

05/17/2020
The Lark

The deadline for submissions to The Apothetae and The Lark Playwriting Fellowship is less than ONE MONTH AWAY! More details below...

Submissions for The Apothetae and The Lark Playwriting Fellowship are due less than ONE MONTH AWAY!

The program provides a two-year residency for a Deaf/Disabled writer, a cash award of $40,000, a $5,000 Opportunity Fund for project-related expenses, and control over a $10,000 Production Enhancement Fund.
Applications will be accepted through June 15, 2020!

The fellowship is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Jeffrey Steinman and Jody Falco. #TheApothetae

TO APPLY: https://www.larktheatre.org/get-involved/submit-play/#Apothetae

****Photos from the Slideshow****:
Photo 1. Three female attendees of The Apothetae and Lark Convening, at The Lark’s Barebones Studio. Text reads “The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship”
Photo 2. A projection screen that features a black-and-white photo of Lloyd Suh (on the left) and Gregg Mozgala (on the right) holding microphones. Text reads: “The Lark has partnered with The Apothetae to advocate for Disabled artists since 2015”
Photo 3. Playwright Tim J. Lord and actors rehearsing for Tim’s play On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed at The Lark’s Barebones Studio. Text reads: “The first-round Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellow was Tim J. Lord”
Photo 4. Playwright Tim J. Lord and actors including Andy Lucien and Jasmin Walker rehearsing for Tim’s play On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed at The Lark’s Barebones Studio. Text reads: “The support that comes from a place like The Lark, I felt like a rockstar.”
Photo 5. Lloyd Suh, Gregg Mozgala, and Krista Williams at The Apothetae and Lark Convening. Text reads: “SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN for the 2nd Round of the Apothetae & Lark Playwriting Fellowship for a Deaf/Disabled Writer.”
Photo 6. Playwright Tim J. Lord and other attendees of The Apothetae and Lark Convening. The text reads: The fellow receives: Two year residency, $40,000 prize, $5,000 opportunity fund, $10,000 production enhancement fund.
Photo 7. Attendees of The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship Launch Party at The Time Warner Center. Text reads: “Up to two Finalists will each receive a $5,000 honorarium”
Photo 8. Gregg Mozgala speaking at The Apothetae and Lark Convening in September 2017. Text reads: “'I believe Theater offers one of the greatest venues for perceptions about Disability to change.' - Gregg Mozgala Artistic Director The Apothetae"
Photo 9. The Apothetae and Lark Convening. Text reads: “Apply by June 15, 2020”

"But, I’ve realized, looking at the plays I’ve been working on since getting the Fellowship, and looking at the plays I ...
05/05/2020
Exploring Disability Aesthetic Through Community | The Lark

"But, I’ve realized, looking at the plays I’ve been working on since getting the Fellowship, and looking at the plays I was writing before that, I feel like there has been something about my existence as a person with a disability that has always been there in my plays. Even if I wasn’t writing characters who specifically had some sort of identifiable disability, a lot of my characters are these outsiders who are trying to get by in a world that is “normal.” And they’re always coming at things sideways. And I feel like that is very much what my experience as a Disabled person has been. It’s been there in my writing all along."

Inaugural Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellow Tim J. Lord discusses how connecting with the Disabled Community influenced his work.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but you will be mine, Roseland High. Oh yes, you will be mine. Richard Gloucester k...
04/25/2020

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but you will be mine, Roseland High. Oh yes, you will be mine. Richard Gloucester knows how to wait.

We have made the vital decision to postpone the remainder of our Woolly Season. But don’t fret, the shows will go on! We hope to bring these phenomenal productions back at some point in the future.

"I believe the very things that make Disability hard to codify and define are the same things that makes it inherently d...
04/21/2020
A Place of Exposure: Introduction | The Lark

"I believe the very things that make Disability hard to codify and define are the same things that makes it inherently dramatic in nature. And what could be more worthy of active exploration than who and what we are?"

I believe the very things that makes Disability hard to codify and define are the same things that makes it inherently dramatic in nature - and what could be more worthy of active exploration than who and what we are?

04/08/2020
Chicago theater brings viewers into virtual experience right from their couch

Theater Wit's virtual presentation of "Teenage Dick" by Michael Lew gets extended to May 3rd and was featured last night on CBS Evening News!

Theaters have gone dark as the world stays home to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, the curtain still goes up every night for those who remember the ...

"We are thrilled to be opening applications again this year, especially as 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the passin...
04/02/2020
Apothetae & Lark Open Second Round of Fellowship for a Disabled Playwright

"We are thrilled to be opening applications again this year, especially as 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This fellowship, the only one of its kind, is dedicated to uplifting the multiplicity of voices and experiences of Deaf/Disabled communities.'

The Apothetae, a theater company committed to challenging perceptions of the 'Disabled Experience,' and The Lark, a play development lab devoted to playwrights, to the principles of equity and the power of an individual artistic voice, have announced the opening of submissions for the second round o...

“Plays can start a conversation, create opportunity, generate community, and be a catalyst for progress. This is why dev...
04/01/2020
The Lark and The Apothetae Open Submissions to Deaf and Disabled Writers for Second Round of Major Fellowship | Playbill

“Plays can start a conversation, create opportunity, generate community, and be a catalyst for progress. This is why developing writers from within the Disability community is so important. We need more voices, and we need to practice using them.”

The national award, whose inaugural recipient was Tim J. Lord, comes with a two-year residency and a combined value of $55,000.

"Theater Wit is selling remote viewing tickets to online, streamed video performances of its Chicago premiere of Teenage...
03/20/2020
Teenage Dick by Mike Lew

"Theater Wit is selling remote viewing tickets to online, streamed video performances of its Chicago premiere of Teenage Dick.
Here’s how this new way of ‘attending’ theater works:
Patrons buy a ticket for their desired date and time, same as always. Ten minutes before the show begins, all ticket buyers will receive an email with a private URL and password to watch the performance on Vimeo. The performance will be shot on two cameras, using mixed video to provide close-ups and full coverage of the staging. At the end of every performance, the video stream will conclude and no longer be accessible."

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer at Roseland High...

Congrats to Apothetae/Lark Fellow, Tim J. Lord whose play "We declare you a terrorist..." will be premiering as part of ...
03/10/2020
2020-2021 Subscriptions

Congrats to Apothetae/Lark Fellow, Tim J. Lord whose play "We declare you a terrorist..." will be premiering as part of Round House Theatre's 43rd season!

Become a subscriber today and enjoy the best prices, the best seats, free exchanges, complimentary coffee, and more!

"Teenage Dick" by Mike Lew is coming to Chicago's Theater Wit! And for the first time (but we hope not the last), a disa...
03/10/2020
Brian Balcom Wants Accessible Theater Onstage and Off

"Teenage Dick" by Mike Lew is coming to Chicago's Theater Wit! And for the first time (but we hope not the last), a disabled director is on the artistic team.
“He’s mean. He’s ambitious. And that’s refreshing. In a lot of scripts now, oftentimes if there’s a disabled character, they will be neutered and ineffectual and just happy to be there. It’s great to see disabled characters who are aggressive and ambitious and sexual, who have concrete desires. That can change perceptions.”

Paraplegic since a 1993 spinal cord injury, the 39-year-old director advocates for people with disabilities both onstage and in the audience.

Know your history! Judy Heumann is a national treasure. She should be on a dollar bill or a postage stamp. Be sure to ch...
02/25/2020
Being Heumann by Judith Heumann, Kristen Joiner: 9780807019290 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Know your history! Judy Heumann is a national treasure. She should be on a dollar bill or a postage stamp. Be sure to check out the documentary, Crip Camp' on Netflix in March and check out Judy's memoir which hits shelves today.

One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her personal story of fighting for the right to receive an education, have a job, and just be human. A story of fighting to...

This movie, CRIP CAMP is a game-changing, landmark theatrical event. It drops on Netflix in March but if you are interes...
02/20/2020
IFC Center - Crip Camp

This movie, CRIP CAMP is a game-changing, landmark theatrical event. It drops on Netflix in March but if you are interested in seeing it in the theater with a talk-back with the creators, we cannot recommend it highly enough- don't miss it!

In the early 1970s, teenagers with disabilities faced a future shaped by isolation, discrimination and institutionalization. Camp Jened, a ramshackle camp “for the handicapped” in the Catskills, exploded those confines. Jened was their freewheeling Utopia, a place with summertime sports, smoking...

From Artistic Director, Gregg Mozgala: This year, in recognition of 2020 being the thirtieth anniversary of the passing ...
02/01/2020
The Elephant In The Room Part 2

From Artistic Director, Gregg Mozgala: This year, in recognition of 2020 being the thirtieth anniversary of the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, I made a commitment to myself to write an essay a month. As today is the last day of January, I am getting this in just under the wire. Please read and let me know what you think.

In 2014 The Apothetae staged a reading of The Elephant Man in response to the Broadway production that same year. Check out the photo project and blog post entitled, The Elephant In The Room ...

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General information

The Apothetae was founded by critically acclaimed actor and playwright, Gregg Mozgala. While pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Boston University, he studied modern American drama and was exposed to the works of Tina Howe, Tony Kushner, August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Jose Rivera and many others. These writers came from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds but all of them had one thing in common; they were all using theatre as a venue to share their unique personal and collective experience(s) with a larger audience. He was struck by the fact that in the late twentieth century, decades after the Civil Rights Movement and several years after the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, he did not know of a single disabled playwright; nor had he seen a theatre piece or film (with the exception of "My Left Foot"), that accurately reflected his personal experience as a person with a disability. Ever since that realization, he has committed my artistic life to changing this through his art. The Apothetae is an "experiment." The hypothesis: By collaborating with talented theatre professionals from New York City and throughout the United States (and hey, why not the world?), can the "Disabled Experience" be more sincerely and accurately reflected on stage and act as a vehicle for social change. We have just started and we are off to a great start. We have four fantastically talented playwrights committed to writing new full-length plays. We are going to the Kennedy Center later this Summer to workshop those plays and we already have a production planned for June 2013 with Dixon Place Theatre right here in NYC. It's all on this website which we hope you will check out and enjoy. The company is in its beginning stages but we very much look forward to sharing its growth, our experience and work with you.

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I'm looking for actors with different disabilities for a screenplay I've written. It's about the struggles and triumphs of 6 friends with different disabilities. 3 of the characters use wheelchairs, 2 are deaf, (one with a chochlear implant that signs and one without a cochlear implant and one who has a severe brain injury) The script is 90 pages, but it's a very quick read. Any actors who are interested in reading the script please reply to this post. Thanks!