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Theater Breaking Through Barriers Does It Again—An Evening of Short Plays of Diversity and Otherness

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, March 8, 2017

Theater Breaking Through Barriers (formerly known as Theater By the Blind) kicks off its 38th season with the World Premiere of The Other Plays, five short plays exploring the themes of race, religion, sexual identity and social otherness. The production runs from March 10-26 at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, 502 West 53rd Street (off Tenth Avenue).

The Other Plays are:

* Girl #2 by Bekah Brunstetter, which raises issues of diversity—a subject Brunstetter has explored most recently as co-producer on NBC’s hit series, This Is Us;

* No Hard Feelings by Neil LaBute, who’s written a string of Off-Broadway plays, including The Shape of Things (for which he also wrote the film adaptation), Reasons to be Pretty, fictional pieces and a collection of short stories;

* A Difference of Beauty by Tatiana G. Rivera, an emerging playwright and singer;

* Noor and Ahmad Go to Hogwarts by Lameece Issaq, Artistic Director of Noor Theatre, the Obie-wining company dedicated to supporting, developing and producing the work of theatre artists of Middle Eastern descent; and

* Traditional by Dennis A. Allen II, which is anything but traditional, as it asks the question: can love conquer the burden of conventional gender roles?

Theater Breaking Through Barriers, under the Artistic Direction of Nicholas Viselli, is a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway company dedicated to integrating able-bodied actors with artists with disabilities. Founded in 1979 as Theater By The Blind by Ike Schambelan, the company expanded its role in 2008 to include artists with all physical disabilities. But its mission remains to change the image of people with disabilities from one of dependence to independence, to fight stereotypes and misperceptions associated with disability, and to show how vibrant, creative and exciting the work of artists with disabilities can be.

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Cover: Playwright Neil LaBute; courtesy of



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