Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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Disability Takes Centre Stage at the Fringe!


People with Disabilities are taking over the Fringe. A number of of the Fringe companies this year feature artists with disabilities. With Fringe heavy-hitters like one-eyed Stéphanie Morin-Robert and Adam Schwartz are returning while newcomers like Aiden Zelinski are hitting the scene for the first time. #DISABILITYWPGFRINGE is here.

In particular a number of Stroke survivors are hitting the stage. Diana Rising and Mitch Krohn head up ​STROKES OF GENIUS​, sketch comedy about stroke recovery, the health care system and accessibility. Venue 23.

Fellow stroke survivor, Hannah Foulger offers up MY ​FROZEN HEART: A COMIC TRAGEDY​. A female filmmaker is set on making the perfect definitely-not-autobiographical film about a teen whose mother is living with a disability, but risks her friendships in the process.

The July 21 at 4:30 will be a relaxed performance, which invites people with disabilities and mental illness to enjoy the show with a relaxed sensory experience. A space in the lobby will be made available for audience members who need a quiet moment because of the content of the show. ​Venue 23 – ​One88

Estee Polnau​, also a stroke survivor, will be returning to Kids Fringe on its 20th Anniversary with her puppets and a Q & A on the mainstage.

This fringe also sees two Autistic shows:

Adam Schwartz from Autistic Productions is back with ​Aimée Beaudoin. ​ANNA AND THE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER​ ​is​ a​ new play following a young girl with Asbergers when Miss Cobweb is replaced by a Spooky substitute. ​Venue 3​ Alto-Portage Place

Aidan Zelinski tells his own tale of Autism, first kisses and mammoths in ​QUIRKY​. First featured in Sick + Twisted Theatre’s Lame Is… Cabaret, this show plays at ​Venue 24Platform Centre

The one-eyed Stéphanie Morin-Robert (The Merkin Sisters, Blindside) returns with ​EYE CANDY, ​telling the story of her 56 hr labour. ​Venue 21 ​MTYP Mainstage

Chronically (Ch)ill Productions, and chronically ill Hailey Rhoda fresh off last year’s Medea (4 Stars CBC) is back with another violent puppet romp through Greek Mythology ​HEART OF STONE ​with Medusa. ​Venue 28 ​Forth Projects

(Art)ist​ by Fringe New Play Contest finalist Daphne Finalyson stars Steve Yurkiw, who uses a mobility aid, as an aging playwright dogged by his two most famous characters. ​Venue 6Tom Hendry Warehouse

Carlyn Rhamey brings ​THE ADHD PROJECT ​from her hometown of Hamilton, exploring neurodiversity and growing up “special.”

SO, DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT? ​is another showstopper from ​It’s All Relative Productions​ exploring anxiety and self-care, with the sensibilities of the people behind Filter This and One Date City. ​VENUE 8 ​Rachel Browne Theatre.

A number of these artists, including Strokes of Genius, Hannah Foulger, Estee Polnau, Aiden Zelinski, Steve Yurkiw and Hailey Rhoda have been featured in Sick+Twisted Twisted Theatre’s past season, including the Lame Is… Cabaret and ThreePenny Opera. The theatre company and its Artistic Director, Debbie Patterson have been crucial to the development of Disability Theatre in Winnipeg, and

Media contact: Hannah Foulger

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