The 2010 International VSA Festival will be the largest arts event featuring artists with disabilities ever held in Washington, DC. VSA—the international organization on arts and disability—will bring together artists, educators, researchers, and policymakers with and without disabilities from around the world for a multicultural celebration of the arts and education.
Meet the VSA artists
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It’s a big, exciting festival featuring a dazzling array of visual, performing, literary, and media artists. See the entire schedule here.
THEATRE AT THE VSA FESTIVAL:
Synetic Theater presents Othello . June 3 – July 3, 2010
Once again infusing one of Shakespeare’s most poignant tragedies with their “art of silence,” Synetic Theater now explores this tale of love destroyed by jealousy. When the general Othello triumphantly returns home to the promise of peace and marriage, little can he know that his most trusted lieutenant is also one of the most fiendish and manipulative villains imaginable. Scandal is fueled, families and friendships destroyed, as Othello’s world comes crashing down, until a “trifle light as air” – a handkerchief – undoes them all. At Kennedy Center’s Family Theater
VSA and Theater Alliance present Gretty Good Time . June 3 – July 3
This dark comedy mixes historical fact and poetic flights of fancy to tell the story of Gretty, who has lived her life in a nursing home since childhood and is visited in her dreams by Hideko, a young Japanese woman whose face was disfigured in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Together, they climb into Gretty’s flying wheelchair and go back in time to confront the painful memories that haunt them. At H Street Playhouse.
VSA presents Turning Point . June 7 at 7:30pm
Turning Point, a presentation of staged readings of new Irish short plays by artists with disabilities, was commissioned and developed specially for the festival by VSA affiliate Arts & Disability Ireland and Fishamble: The New Play Company. The plays, focusing on the theme of change, provide a platform for a range of dynamic and fresh Irish voices. Admission is free; seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. A free event. Reservations suggested. At the Lansburgh Theatre.
VSA presents Caterpillar Soup . June 9 at 12:00pm
Within the context of spinal cord injury, Caterpillar Soup is a story of destiny and a powerful love unshaken by tragedy. In this one-woman performance by the playwright as part of Happenings at the Harman, Lyena Strelkoff reveals her two-year odyssey in search of wholeness after being paralyzed, and the ultimate triumph of her spirit. With humor, hope, and candor, Caterpillar Soup explores the transformational power of loss and celebrates life in all its messiness. A free performance. Reservations recommended. At Sidney Harman Hall.
VSA presents Deaf Theater Jam . June 9 at 7:30pm
Deaf Theater Jam combines American Sign Language (ASL) , movement, gesture, music and shadow play to explore timeless classics and personal stories through visual theater. Fred Beam — President of the National Deaf Black Advocates — performs excerpts from his one-man show, Black, Deaf, Male: Who am I? MO2 Productions, led by artistic director Monique Holt, performs Uncontented Love with text derived from Shakespearean plays. Alexandria Wailes presents a visually passionate interpretation of Euripides’ Electra using ASL. At the Lansburgh Theatre.
VSA and Theater Alliance present The Thing That Ate My Brain… Almost . June 9 at 7:30pm
The DC premiere of Amy Lynn Budd’s “Neo-Burlesque Sci-Fi Extravaganza” examines Ms. Budd’s relationships with her largest brain tumor, her loved ones, and the world of medicine. Budd uses theater, burlesque dance, puppetry, digital media, and the genre of 1960s sci-fi movies to affirm that creativity and curiosity are the best medicine. At H Street Playhouse.
VSA presents Comedy Night . June 9 at 8:30pm
Three of America’s top comedians converge on DC Improv for an evening guaranteed to tickle the funny bone: headliner Josh Blue, the Last Comic Standing season four winner, who has cerebral palsy, uses his incredible sense of humor and likeability to defy stereotypes and encourage others to overcome their preconceived notions about people with disabilities. Brett Leake, is the first comedian with muscular dystrophy to appear on NBC’s The Tonight Show. A gifted comedienne, award-winning actress, accomplished author, and renowned inspirational speaker, Kathy Buckley is a force like no other who uses humor to confront stereotypes about people who are deaf. Buckley is also a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. At DC Improv.
VSA presents The Magic Seeds . June 10 at 10:15am and 11:30am
Using a sublime mixture of dancing, gesture, and sign language, Uganda Deaf Silent Theatre tells the story of a young man who is tricked into selling his pumpkins for a handful of seeds and ends up a hero. This 10-member group brings out more than the moral of this children’s folk tale; it also raises awareness about the lives of people who are deaf through story, ensemble, and movement. At the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater.
Diagnosis of a Faun . June 10 at 7:30pm
Diagnosis of a Faun is an innovative new inclusive dance/theater piece commissioned by VSA from Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects. Rogoff draws her choreographic inspiration from Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun and dancer Gregg Mozgala’s first-hand experience with cerebral palsy to create a creature that inhabits two worlds simultaneously. As Rogoff’s Faun moves through the seemingly disparate spheres of the operating room and the forest in the company of dancers, doctors, humans, and nymphs, the curse of separation between medicine and art is gently lifted. At the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.
VSA presents Giggles: “the girl who made the whole world laugh” . June 12 at 10:30am and 12:30pm
Giggles, the 10-year-old star of McDuffle’s Circus, takes center ring every night to share her contagious giggle with the audience. Born without a voice, but with the ability to giggle, Giggles was raised by the circus when her parents left to find a cure for Giggle’s giggles. Her life is forever changed when a big-time agent sees her act and hires her to share her talent with the world. Giggles is a show about how being different is okay and family is what you make it. At the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater.