The Apothetae/New American Voices Reading Series

part of the Forward Festival for the Arts

In 2015, The Apothetae, a theater company committed to challenging perceived perceptions of the “Disabled Experience,” and The Lark, a play development lab devoted to equity, community, and the power of an individual artistic voice, launched The Apothetae at Lark Fellowship, the centerpiece of a broader initiative designed to provide an unprecedented platform of financial and artistic support and advocacy for Deaf/Disabled Artists to promote the generation of new plays with the power to revolutionize the cultural conversation surrounding Disability, as well as address the profound underrepresentation and oppressive  misrepresentation of people with disabilities that persists throughout our cultural media. The Lark shuttered in late 2021, and the initiative has been rehomed at Queens Theatre. Six readings of new full-length plays will be presented as part of the festival.

May 20-22

Friday, May 20, 8:00 PM

Blanche & StellaPhotograph of A.A. Brenner

by A.A. Brenner

A modernized, queer, Disabled new play inspired by Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire with no cis white men and one Gentleman Caller who is not a gentleman, Blanche & Stella explores and reimagines the central complex female relationships at the heart of Williams' canon. In this retelling, Blanche DuBois and Stella Kowalski are two only-children and childhood best friends ("sisters") who end up living together after Blanche goes through a cataclysmic breakup and shows up unannounced on Stella's doorstep in Washington, D.C. Now adults, the pair must navigate mismatched expectations and their own maladaptive coping mechanisms as they question what to do when the people they love aren't quite who they appeared to be.

Saturday, May 21, 5:00 PM

Photograph of Nikki Brake-Silla

Say It Ain't So

by Nikki Brake-Silla

Say It Ain’t So weaves a tale of Sandra, an affluent Black mother, on the lam with her Deaf sister, Renny. Sandra encounters her Ancestors; Past, Present and Future, who bring into question, can Black women ever truly be free? The play asks, What do we inherit? What past should we not pass on? Can cycles really be broken?

Sunday, May 22, 5 PM

Photograph of Magda RomanskaThe Life and Times of Stephen Hawking

by Magda Romanska

Based on Goethe's Doctor Faustus, Magda Romanska’s play-opera The Life and Times of Stephen Hawking is a meditation on life, death, body, time, space, and pandemic. At the critical moment of his life, Stephen Hawking makes a bargain with the devil: in exchange for learning the mysteries of the universe, he'll give up the use of his body. But when Stephen Hawking makes a bargain with the devil, who pays the price?

All performances will offer
ASL Interpreted Performance
Open Captioning Available

Audio Description will be integrated into the stage directions for the readings.

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