Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors: Selected Plays (Oberon Modern Playwrights) (Paperback)

Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors: Selected Plays (Oberon Modern Playwrights) By Kaite O'Reilly Cover Image

Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors: Selected Plays (Oberon Modern Playwrights) (Paperback)


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Atypical Plays For Atypical Actors is the first of its kind: a collection of dramas which redefines the notion of normalcy and extends the range of what it is to be human. From monologues, to performance texts, to realist plays, these involving and subversive pieces explore disability as a portal to new experience.

Includes the plays: peeling, The Almond and the Seahorse, In Water I'm Weightless, the 9 Fridas and Cosy.

Although disabled characters appear often in plays within the Western theatrical tradition, seldom have the writers been disabled or Deaf themselves, or written from those atypical embodied experiences. This is what contributes to making Kaite O'Reilly's Selected Plays essential reading - critically acclaimed plays and performance texts written in a range of styles over twelve years, but all informed by a political and cultural disability perspective. They 'answer back' to the moral and medical models of disability and attempt to subvert or critique assumptions and negative representations of disabled people.

The selected plays and performance texts exhibit a broad approach to issues around disability. Some, like In Water I'm Weightless/The 'd' Monologues (part of the Cultural Olympiad and official festival celebrating the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics) are embedded in disability politics, aesthetics, and 'crip' humour. A montage of monologues that can be performed solo or as a chorus, they challenge the normative gaze and celebrate all the possibilities of human variety. The Almond and the Seahorse is different, a 'mainstream' character-led realist drama about survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury, with subversive politics in its belly. A response to 'tragic but brave' depictions of head injury and memory loss, and informed by personal experience, the play interrogates the reality of living with TBI, questioning who the 'victims' are.

peeling, a landmark play written for one Deaf and two disabled female actors, was originally produced by Graeae Theatre Company in 2002, 2003, and for BBC Radio 3. A 'feminist masterpiece...quietly ground breaking' (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman), it has become a set text for Theatre and Drama and Disability Studies university degree courses in the UK and US. Frequently remounted, its lively meta-theatrical form supports its central themes of war, eugenics, and a woman's control over her fertility, which are as relevant today as ever.

The performance text the 9 Fridas is a complex mosaic offering multiple representations of arguably the world's most famous female artist, Frida Kahlo, reclaiming her as a disability icon. Performed in Mandarin translation, it was the closing production of the 2014 Taipei Art Festival and will transfer to Hong Kong in October 2016. It is currently being translated into German, Hindi, and Spanish.

Cosy is a darkly comedic look at the joys and humiliations of getting older and how we shuffle off this mortal coil. Three generations of a dysfunctional family explore their choices in a world obsessed with eternal youth, and asks whose life (or death) is it, anyway? An Unlimited Commission, Cosy will premiere and tour nationally in 2016, appearing at the Unlimited Festivals at Southbank Centre and Tramway.
Kaite O'Reilly has won many prizes for her work, including The Peggy Ramsay Award, and the Ted Hughes Award for new works in poetry for her retelling of Aeschylus's Persians for National Theatre Wales. She was shortlisted for the inaugural international James Tait Black Award for Drama for In Water I'm Weightless, and a finalist in Susan Smith Blackburn's international prize for women playwrights with The Almond and the Seahorse. In 2012 she had two Cultural Olympiad Commissions, In Water I'm Weightless produced by National Theatre Wales/South Bank Centre as part of the official festival celebrating the Olympics and Paralympics. In 2014 her performance text The 9 Fridas about Frida Kahlo was directed by Phillip Zarrilli with an integrated cast at the Taipei International Festival. A veteran of the UK's Disability Civil Rights Movement and part of Disability arts and culture's first wave, she is patron of Disability Arts Cymru and DaDaFest (Disability Arts Deaf Arts, the largest disability and Deaf cultural festival in the World).
Product Details ISBN: 9781783193172
ISBN-10: 1783193174
Publisher: Oberon Books
Publication Date: September 27th, 2016
Pages: 328
Language: English
Series: Oberon Modern Playwrights