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Play Turns Spotlight On Discrimination Against Gays, People With Disabilities: VIDEO


From the horrid sarcasm coming from the Alaska GOP to the hateful salesmanship in France, this morning's news has been a bit of a bummer. To pick us all up a bit, here's a story from Chicago about a play, Teddy Ferrara, dedicated to fighting the discrimination faced by both gay people and people with physical disabilities.

From Chicago's ABC-7:

Chris Imbrosciano, 28, plays Jay, a gay student in a wheelchair.

"He's very involved in university issues,' said Chris. "He is really sort of always searching for the truth about this incident that happens on campus that sort of sends everyone's life into a tailspin."

Chris, a professional actor, has cerebral palsy.

"It affects my gate. It affects my walking. It's visible in a limp, and that's pretty much it," he said.

Chris has been acting for a number of years.

"They found me through a nonprofit in New York City called Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts that sort of serves as a database for performers with disabilities," said Chris.

"Teddy Ferrara" director Evan Cabnet says playwright Christopher Shinn's goal was to address issues of a group of students dealing with coming of age.

"They become adults as they leave home and involved themselves in university life with different and more complicated -- not problems necessarily -- but challenges to overcome," Evan said.

Watch video of Karen Meyer's report AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. The word you're looking for is "gait" not "gate"... as in "it affects my gait."

    Posted by: Larry McD | Feb 17, 2013 11:07:51 AM

  2. The word you're looking for is "gait" not "gate"... as in "it affects my gait."

    Posted by: Larry McD | Feb 17, 2013 11:08:02 AM

  3. Did they also look for an actor who is gay to play the part of a gay person?

    Posted by: jleo71 | Feb 17, 2013 1:06:18 PM

  4. Did they also look for an actor who is gay to play the part of a gay person?

    Posted by: jleo71 | Feb 17, 2013 1:06:24 PM

  5. God knows I have sympathy for gays (being "a gay" myself), but I truly dislike problem dramas where characters struggle with their issues ("It's a good play. It addressed a lot of issues" is how one playgoer put it). I've seen previews of this on youtube and it looks preachy and socially relevant in the worst way, what we used to call an after-school special. Issues are presented, issues are addressed. This doesn't sound like a fun evening to me.

    Posted by: wil | Feb 17, 2013 1:30:34 PM

  6. If increased visibility is part of the goal, then it seems smarter to take issues about sexuality and ability discrimination and put them into a vehicle with broader appeal (i.e. one that will appeal as a "fun evening" for some audience members, but then also make them think). But I applaud them for their hard work and for caring.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 17, 2013 1:50:11 PM

  7. Christopher Shinn is a great playwright... I've seen a number of this young writer's works in NYC and i always leave the theater richer for the experience and from his words. So- armchair critics, who HAVE NOT seen or read the entire play, withhold judgement until you have experienced what he has to offer-
    People confuse cynicism with insight far too frequently. This writer deserves our community's support!!!!

    Posted by: Dr. C | Feb 17, 2013 6:58:42 PM

  8. DR C -

    I didn't see anything in the article or the video that would make me want to go see that play. If it has some redeeming entertainment value, they should have mentioned it.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 18, 2013 10:25:12 AM

  9. As a gay man I went into this with great expectations that, sadly, were not met. In fact, by the end I greatly regretted that we'd not left at intermission. The first act succeeds in showing the inter-relatedness and complexity of many issues -- sexuality, privacy, morality, the difference between fact and truth, etc. The second act devolves into the after school special and the play unravels as it spins out of control and climaxes in an unbelievable and embarrassing bathroom scene. The play does not leave you feeling that these characters, struggling to face life's challenges as young adults, will ultimately become capable leaders, despite their aspirations. In fact, you're left doubting that they will even escape the self-loathing that, however denied, clearly remains.

    Posted by: Kirk | Feb 18, 2013 12:16:07 PM

  10. Thank god some "disabilities" are not. They are instead nominated for Best Picture Oscars this year, portrayed by Bradley Cooper.

    Posted by: gb | Feb 18, 2013 8:35:22 PM

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