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Re-envisioning Disability Through Professional Theatre

May 30, 2018

Phamaly Theatre Company and Craig Hospital recently announced a three-year community partnership to raise awareness in thinking about diversity, inclusion and disability through the lens of professional theatre. 

The partnership will also help to enhance the lives of current and former Craig patients, families and caregivers, and staff. “Craig and Phamaly share similar philosophies including life quality, wellness, independence, resilience, adaptation and survivorship following trauma or disability,” said Sasha Hutchings, managing director at Phamaly Theatre Company. “We’re delighted to build on our successful partnership with Craig and continue to provide experiences to people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.”

As part of the partnership, Craig will sponsor this year’s plays and musicals including “Romeo and Juliet,” which ran April 14 – 22 at The Dairy Arts Center; “Into the Woods,” running July 12 – Aug. 5 at The Space Theatre; and “Harvey,” running Oct. 18 – Nov. 11 at The Olin Hotel.

Photo by Michael Ensminger

Comprised entirely of performers with disabilities, Phamaly is known for reinventing classic stories and creating moving experiences.“Romeo and Juliet” will be directed by Regan Linton, artistic director for Phamaly and a Craig graduate. “Harvey” will be a special community collaboration between Phamaly and Senior Housing Options. 

“Phamaly shows are a great vehicle for social outings for Craig patients, families and caregivers, and our volunteers and staff,” said Jake Manley, marketing and media services manager at Craig Hospital. “The partnership will provide opportunities for patients of similar ages, backgrounds and injuries to teach, learn, encourage and support one another.”

Phamaly will also bring acting theatre programs to Craig, which will help provide opportunities for participants to tell their stories, set goals, solve problems and adapt to new life circumstances. In-house workshops for current and former patients, families, and caregivers will focus on: 

  • SURVIVAL: Writing to explore personal expression and create a new narrative following trauma 
  • ADAPTATION: Improvisation, movement and freeing the body 
  • CREATION: Connecting narrative to performance - translating from page to stage

Manley added, “Expanding our partnership with Phamaly Theatre Company fits perfectly with our emphasis on customized programs, education, family involvement and preparing Craig patients for life after rehabilitation.”