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Queens Theatre to offer virtual training program for deaf and disabled actors

Courtesy of Queens Theatre

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth round of the Theatre For All (TFA) training program. The free, two-week program presented by Queens Theatre (QT) is offered to deaf and disabled theater professionals to hone their skills and practice their craft through targeted workshops.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s workshops and events will be hosted virtually. The virtual workshops — taught by disabled and non-disabled industry professionals, including actors Brigid Brady, Christine Bruno, Clark Jackson, Diana Jordan and Marilee Talkington —  run from Sunday, June 20, through Thursday, July 1, and will focus on auditioning, acting, improvisation, musical theater, voice and movement. 

Registration for the beginner-level introduction to acting, early career-level and working actor-level programs is open to individuals who identify as deaf or disabled, ages 18 and up. The program will culminate with a public sharing and an industry showcase performance for the early career-level and working actor-level programs. 

Gregg Mozgala, Queens Theatre’s director of inclusion, said their goal is to support skill building and to help actors of all abilities cultivate relationships with their fellow students and industry professionals. 

“Offering these workshops remotely gives us the opportunity to welcome more actors from the deaf and disabled community throughout New York City and the nation, who otherwise would have faced barriers to participation based on economics or geography,” Mozgala said. 

Queens Theatre is committed to working with artists, adults and children from the disability community and doing more to fully reach audience members with disabilities from Queens and throughout New York City. The virtual training program is one component of the larger Theatre for All (TFA) initiative, an international effort that includes community conversations, national convenings and artistic programming.

As the theater, film and television industries evolve to become more inclusive and intentional about representing the lives of deaf and disabled people authentically on stages and screens, Queens Theatre wants to provide high-quality, accessible training and networking opportunities for disabled actors who will and create those roles, said Taryn Sacramone, Queens Theatre executive director. 

“As theater producers ourselves, we are always looking to grow our artistic family. With every round of our Theatre For All training program, we have been building an incredible network of talented people. We are invested in the success of all of our Theatre For All alumni,” Sacramone said. 

This year’s Theatre for All training program is made possible with support from The Richmond County Savings Foundation. For more information about the program and to register, click here.

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