The (dis)ABILITY community has paved the way in developing innovation and access to make life better for all communities. What does universal access look like in theater? Let’s hear and learn from a variety of intersectional identities, (dis)ABLED theater artists, and community leaders to envision what accessible theater can be.
Actress, Singer-Songwriter, Best-Selling Author, Voice-Over Artist
Cassidy Huff (she/her) is an eighteen-year-old actress, singer-songwriter, best-selling author, and voice-over artist from Seattle, WA. Cassidy has performed on stages all over the world, including the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and Lincoln Center in New York City, and she is currently pursuing her BFA in Musical Theater at AMDA. Cassidy has been involved with the Seattle Rep for the last three years while competing in the August Wilson Monologue Competition, where she won first place last year. Cass is honored to be a panelist for the Seattle Rep and is so excited to be able to share her point of view on accessibility in the theater!
Member, Parachute Players
Emi Nakamura (she/her) is an autistic educator, musician, and theater maker. She has music directed at children's theaters across the country including Seattle Children's Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and McCarter Theatre. She is currently a K-5 music teacher at Seattle Public Schools and a member of the Parachute Players.
Founder, Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium
Elizabeth Ralston (she/her) is an accessibility consultant with more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits, government agencies, and academic institutions on program delivery and strategic communications. She has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and a certificate of Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Elizabeth experienced the powerful impact a person can have on others’ lives. She has devoted her life to public service ever since.
Elizabeth is deaf and uses two cochlear implants to hear. She founded the Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium, a grassroots effort to connect arts and cultural organizations with information and resources to improve accessibility for people of all abilities.
As a writer and Disabled Black Woman Veteran, Kameko Thomas understands the unique relationship between storytelling and healing, better than most.
Kameko believes that hiding the truth of one’s mental health journey, in a misguided attempt to shield others from its impact actually causes more harm – not only to the person dealing with the mental health concern, but to those around them, as well.
Ms. Thomas’ work and insights have been featured in Crosscut (“On Living with PTSD as a Veteran – and a Black Woman”), Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium/Jack Straw Cultural Center’s debut podcast, “Opening Doors," and was a selected presenter for nonprofit arts organization Shunpike’s 2020 Artists of Color Expo and Symposium (“Visibly Invisible: A Story of Race, Gender, and Disability”).
Kameko holds a B.A. in English from Wiley College. She also holds an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, where she was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.
Theater Director, Deaf Spotlight
Monique ‘MoMo’ Holt – Theater Director for Deaf Spotlight of Seattle. She is an artist in Devising Theater. She created several original hybrid shows for hearing and deaf spectators. She was one of the Mabou Mines’s artist-in-residence fellows and Ruth Maleczech was her mentor. She created her one-person show: The “OR”bit. It is a juxtaposition of stand-up comedy and storytelling based on her life and the spectators’ life. Her special device for this show was five voice interpreters called, “Voice Boxes” and she could place them anywhere in the space and make them do vocal ‘acrobatic’ tricks following on her style of performance. When she attended Towson University for her MFA, she had to do two theses. She devised a show and wrote a paper correlating to her show – discussing her manifesto. And her thesis paper was born: Universal Design for Theatrical Presentation. She has been staying true to her manifesto in all of her past and present works, mostly in radical ways. Not all of her works were well received, but people do recognize that she experiments and tries different approaches on how to make it “universal” and “accessible" for all kinds of spectators. Right now, she has been exploring how to make the shows accessible for Deaf and DeafBlind.
Director of Arts Engagement, Seattle Rep
Nabra Nelson is a community organizer and theater creator from Egypt, Nubia, and California. She is also the Director of Arts Engagement at Seattle Rep. As an arts administrator, director, playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist, she works with theaters, universities, and community organizations to create positive change, strengthen community, and amplify under-heard voices through theater. She is a founding company member of Dunya Productions and Heard Space Arts Collective, and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
(Re)Imagine Accessible Theater Reading List
Get ready for the conversation with these related books, plays, articles, and interviews.
(Re)Imagine Theater Panel Series
This series brings artists and community leaders together to envision a new theatrical world. Without constraints, what do we want theater to look like? Join the conversation.
(Re)Imagine Black Theater
Join Black theater makers and community organizers from the Seattle area to envision a theater landscape that centers Black voices equitably.
(Re)Imagine Civic Theater
How can theater be integrated into civic life, and civic practice be more integrally a part of theater?
(Re)Imagine Indigenous Theater
What would theater look like in the United States if it was shaped by indigenous communities and upheld tribal sovereignty? How are storytelling, land, and community linked when led by indigenous knowledge, expertise, and tradition?