The Queens Theater will present its first ever festival to celebrate and elevate the art of the Deaf/Disabled communities

In May, the Queens Theater will present several days of dynamic performances and events as part of its first-ever Forward Festival of the Arts, a national festival showcasing the artistry of Deaf/Disabled artists.

The festival will be hosted by the Queens Theater from May 13-22 and will feature performances and presentations by Omnium Circus, Phamaly Theater Company (Denver, CO), Full Radius Dance (Atlanta, GA), composer Molly Joyce and new works by playwrights from across the country involved in The Apothetae/Lark National Playwriting Fellowship (recently transferred to Queens Theatre). Festival events will include audio description, open captioning, ASL interpretation and other accessibility services. The Forward Festival of the Arts will also include a Disability Art Conversation at Lincoln Center with festival artists.

“The Forward Festival of the Arts extends the work we have done as part of Queens Theatre’s Theater for All (TFA) initiative to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the performing arts – as artists, audience members and cultural workers,” the Queens Theater Executive said. Director Taryn Sacramone. “We are delighted to present a festival with such a wide range of disciplines represented. I know that the public will be delighted with these performances.”

Saturday May 14, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Claire Shulman Theater at Queens Theatre, Tickets: $25 – $35

The visionary Omnium Circus brings together a completely diverse cast of extraordinary talent from around the world that is unique, unified, versatile, multiracial and versatile. Omnium Circus transports audiences to a breathtaking world of spectacle and wonder, inspiring them with extraordinary feats of human achievement and the amazing potential of the human spirit.

Omnium Circus will present “I’Mpossible”, the story of a young boy who dreams of joining the circus. Join Johny as he enters a world of beautiful aerial art, flying hoops, daring freestanding ladder art, Cyr wheel, contortion and more. Along the way, encounter the antics of the King Charles Unicycle basketball troupe and the hilarious comedy of Rob and Miss Jane!

Sunday, May 15, 3 p.m.

The Claire Shulman Theater at Queens Theatre, tickets: $25

Full Radius Dance is a physically integrated professional modern dance company based in Atlanta, GA. The term physically integrated defines dance that combines dancers with and without disabilities in the creation, rehearsal and performance of the work. For Full Radius Dance, physically integrated dance is not just about the disabled body but the bodies of all dancers. It communicates an awareness and acceptance of physicality and a deep sense of recognition of the power and potential of the body.

During Alice, Peter and Dorothy, Full Radius Dance examines the fantasy novels Alice in Wonderland, Peter and Wendy and The Wizard of Oz through a disability-centric lens – how disability influences the work of authors ? What romantic rhetoric minimizes and/or normalizes the visual or invisible mark of disability? Funding for this work is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

In Undercurrents, the dancers enter and leave the stage in currents of movement, taking the dance in unexpected directions. Partnerships are created and erased, subtle shifts create dramatic effects, and hidden feelings and impulses sink beneath the surface.

Sunday, May 15, 5 p.m.,

The Cabaret at the Queens Theatre, Tickets: $25

Molly Joyce has been called one of the “most versatile, prolific, and intriguing female composers working under the vast dome of new music” by The Washington Post. His work focuses on disability as a source of creation. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the main vehicle in her pursuit is her vintage electric toy organ, an instrument she purchased on eBay, which engages her compositional and musical disability. the performance.

Molly Joyce will share a selection of songs for voice, toy organ, electronics and video playback, all with disability-focused songs as the creative source. In this performance, Joyce will partner with ASL performer/performer Brandon Kazen-Maddox, to provide deeper interpretation and sign language highlighting lyrical and aural content. The performance will also include videos created in collaboration with artists Four/Ten Media, Marco Grosse, Maya Smira and live sound engineering by Michael Hammond.

Saturday May 21, 8 p.m. & Sunday May 22, 3 p.m.

The Claire Shulman Theater at Queens Theatre, tickets: $25

Heartwarming and folksy, The Spitfire Grill is a musical that will have you tapping your toes as you enter a world of hope, redemption, and good old-fashioned breakfast. Percy is a young woman with a complicated past, looking to start a new life in a small Wisconsin town that has seen better days. She finds work at the SPITFIRE GRILL, a run-down restaurant with a disenfranchised owner. Through his strength of determination, his optimism and his love, Percy is able to revitalize the grill and, consequently, the community.

Now in its fourth decade as an award-winning Denver arts organization, the Phamaly Theater Company produces professional plays, musicals, and original works, composed entirely of performers with disabilities. Phamaly’s mission is to be a creative home for theater artists with disabilities; modeling a disability-friendly theatrical process; and disrupt conventional narratives by transforming individuals, audiences and the world.

Friday May 13 – Sunday May 22

The Studio at Queens Theatre, FREE

In 2015, The Apothetae, a theater company committed to challenging perceived perceptions of the “disability experience”, and The Lark, a play development lab devoted to equity, community and power of an individual artistic voice, have launched The Apothetae at Lark Fellowship, the centerpiece of a larger 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 deep underrepresentation and oppressive misrepresentation of people with disabilities that persists in our cultural media. The Lark closed at the end of 2021 and the initiative moved to the Queens Theatre.

Six readings of new plays by playwrights with disabilities, developed by the Apothetae at Lark Fellowship, will be presented as part of the festival. The diverse set of pieces, written in a wide range of styles, include AA Brenner’s “Blanche et Stella”; “The Tings We Carry” by Oya Mae “O” Duchess Davis, “3 Bodies” by Jerron Herman, “We Will Never Reach The Shore” by Tim J. Lord, “The Life and Times of Stephen Hawking” by Magda Romanska , and Nikki Brake-Silla, “Say It Ain’t So.” All readings will be presented in person.

Readings are free, but reservations are required. Paid events start at $25. Students and seniors get a 10% discount. For more information about the festival and to reserve your seat, visit or call the box office at 718.760.0064.

Queens Theater’s Forward Festival for the Arts is made possible through the generous support of APAP ArtsForward, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Apothetae/Lark National Playwriting Fellowship (funded by the Ford Foundation, Jeffrey Steinman, Howard Gilman Foundation ), the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Con Edison, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the New York State Council of the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the Legislature of New York State.

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