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Southwestern Recieves Grant to Fund Theatre Project Focusing on Disability Issues

A Southwestern University professor and student have received a $2,500 grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) that will be used to develop a theatre project focusing on disability issues.

A Southwestern University professor and student have received a $2,500 grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) that will be used to develop a theatre project focusing on disability issues.

The grant was awarded to Kathleen Juhl, associate professor of theatre, and Lindsey Smith, a junior majoring in theatre.

Juhl said the show will emphasize both the problems and potential joys of disabled life. “The show will be a kind of tour with actors and facilitators leading audience members to sites on campus appropriate to the theatrical scenarios we will develop,” she said.

The project will be student-led and interested students can be actors, help develop research, help write the play, facilitate post-show discussions, develop materials for discussion, or help with technical elements of the production.

Juhl said part of the grant will enable Southwestern to bring in members of Austin’s disability theatre company Actual Lives to help with research for the project. “The members of that company are knowledgeable, with a serious purpose and a sense of humor,” she said, noting that they performed at Southwestern three years ago to a full house.

Smith said she is eager to get started on creating the show. “Despite how important the issue of disabilities is, it has been ignored and overlooked for a long time,” she said. Smith said that by creating a performance on disabilities at Southwestern, she hopes to encourage action in a variety of areas and to ensure that accommodation and access for people with disabilities continues to evolve.

The project will be performed Nov. 7-11 around the Southwestern campus and is open to the campus community and the Georgetown public.