Photo: Ari Mintz
Vincent D'Onofrio works with TFA actors who took part in the first session of the program.

The Queens Theatre is kicking off September with two programs that focus on disability inclusion in the performing arts.

From Sept. 9 to 20, Queens Theatre will host their Theatre For All program, which launched last year. The two-week-long program aims to give an intensive professional training program for early career professional actors with disabilities.

Courses offered during the training include acting for the stage, movement, voice, business, improv, auditioning and acting /auditioning for commercials. Among those teaching courses in the program include Vincent D’Onofrio (Netflix’s “Daredevil,” “Jurassic Word,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Full Metal Jacket”), who is returning for a second year to teach acting for the camera. 

Other teachers in this year’s program includes Brigid Brady (actor/singer/teacher, Broadway: “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Gossip Girl”), Christine Bruno (actor/teaching artist/consultant, member The Actors Studio, “Law & Order”), Pat Shay (improviser and faculty member, The PIT), Stephen DeAngelis (producer/casting director) and Liz Eckert (actor and designated Linklater voice teacher).

“If I could go back in time to the start of my career, I would want to be part of Theatre for All,” said Gregg Mozgala, QT’s director of inclusion and a Lortel Award-winning actor (Martyna Majok’s Pulitzer Prize winning-play “Cost of Living”). “Representation matters. Not only on the stage and screen, but in training environments like the one Queens Theatre has so painstakingly and passionately created.”

Later in the month, Queens Theatre will host a National Disability in Theatre Convening on Sept. 24 to 25. The two-day conference will bring together theater artists, companies, service organizations, funders, advocates and other stakeholders interested in the advancement of disabled individuals in all aspects of American Theater.

The first day of the conference will focus on asset-mapping where participants will share information about their work and identify areas of need. The second day will include talks from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl as well as panels and break-out sessions with professionals from the industry.

“Over the course of the two days, the spotlight will be on current efforts that exist and opportunities for resource-sharing and collaboration among attendees,” said Taryn Sacramone, executive director of Queens Theatre. “We hope also to identify next steps in creating greater access, opportunity and representation for all.”

For more information about the programs, contact Gregg Mozgala, gmozgala@queenstheatre.org, with the subject line “QT Disability Convening 2019.”

Jae Woo (l-r), Thomas Ellenson, Ali Hardy and Kerry McMenamin read the play “Interabled” at the TFA Short Play Readings, Take Two! in May 2019.

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