‘Epic Players’ theatre company allows actors with disabilities to shine on stage
A theatre-based company in Brooklyn is giving actors with developmental disabilities their shot to be front and center on stage.
Epic Players is aiming to empower the artists and let them know that they too can be included in the arts.
Representation is key, according to Aubrie Therrien, who says she founded the theatre company back in 2016 after years of seeing people with disabilities face challenges with getting work in the performing arts industry.
Since then, she's been working with actors like Nada Smith and Gianluca Cirafici who are neurodivergent. The two are playing roles in the production “Almost, Maine” – a romantic comedy about hope, love, and connection.
Nada and Gianluca tell News 12 they want people with disabilities to know that there's no limit on what they can achieve.
"Don't give up on what you want in life. You have to go out there and do it,” said Smith.
"It is important to be represented accurately and not as a stereotype of what people think a neurodiversity diverse person can do or should do.” Cirafici added.
"We want our actors to get jobs in the arts, want to collaborate more with the Broadway community, and we want our actors really to find a career in this," said Therrien.
The production “Almost, Maine” will be playing from Dec. 2 through Dec. 12 at Art New York in Manhattan.