Challenging What We “Know” about Disability: Phamaly Theatre and the DisAbility Project

Jason B. Dorwart


Phamaly and the DisAbility Project are theater companies comprising disabled performers with different missions and purposes. Phamaly produces standard Broadway fare (or previously-existing material) with an all disabled cast. The DisAbility Project writes and produces new material based upon the experience of its actors, creating and touring original material in order to educate others about the culture of disability. Phamaly and the DisAbility Project take different approaches to performance and inclusion. Phamaly conforms to a Brechtian model of performance, while the DisAbility Project enacts Augusto Boal's theories of the theater of the oppressed. Both companies enact audience alienation to compel reconsideration of the capabilities of the disabled body.


Disability; Theater; Phamaly; DisAbility Project; Brecht; Boal; alienation, theater of the oppressed

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