It’s been 25 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed, and while disabled people face less outright discrimination and more curb cuts, one factor of American life they’re still trying to make more headway into is the world of entertainment. Seriously, before RJ Mitte’s nuanced turn as Walter Jr. in Breaking Bad, who was the most memorable three-dimensional disabled character in pop culture? Jimmy and Timmy from South Park? As you might imagine, disabled entertainers themselves have something to say about this, and you can see a whole bunch of them for free this weekend at the BAM Fisher Building at the day-long Cripfest at 2pm on Saturday.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a day where you get lectured about slighting disabled actors. It’s more about appreciating their range and ability to do more work than “inspirational pap.” Which makes sense, because it’s being curated by American Horror Story‘s (and reigning King Mermaid) Mat Fraser, who’s worked to try to get disabled actors better representation in film and TV for years.
Beyond the entire event being free, there’ll be plenty of different ways to enjoy it. There’s a panel about getting more disabled actors out there in front of people, a reading of visually impaired playwright Todd Bauer’s play Downsizing Camus, a dance performance by Bill “Crutchmaster” Shannon and a variety show at the end of night hosted by Fraser and disabled activist/comedian Liz Carr. So grab your ticket already, and crip walk over on to BAM this weekend.
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