Stage Door News
Toronto: Boys in Chairs Collective presents “Access Me” June 16-24
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Stories from the queer disability community will transform the Toronto stage this Pride! Andrew Gurza, Frank Hull and Ken Harrower will be giving the city exclusive (and inclusive) access to their lives as gay disabled men in Access Me, a fun, queer disability sex-positive performance that earned the inaugural SummerWorks Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award in 2017. Performances will take place June 16-24, 2023 at the wheelchair-accessible Aki Studio in the Daniels Spectrum. All bodies will be welcomed.
The production is helmed by John Hirsch Prize for Directing recipient Jonathan Seinen (Director), winner of the SummerWorks Best Production Award Brian Postalian (Associate Director) and United Nations Platform for Action Committee’s Activist Award and the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Mark Award winner Debbie Patterson (Dramaturg).
Immediate and intimate, provocative and personal —and incredibly hot!— Access Me resulted from the collective’s desire to create a space where the disabled and able-bodied can speak to experiences that are rarely, if ever, seen on stage. Audiences are invited to join the three charismatic performers for a personal exploration and public celebration of queer sexuality and disability as the theatre transforms into an all-access dance club!
Award-winning disability awareness consultant Andrew Gurza is known for hosting his podcast Disability After Dark and founder of Bump’n, a sex toy company for and by disabled people. Over his 15-year career, Frank Hull —originally a choir vocalist— has distinguished himself as one of Canada's most prominent power wheelchair choreographers and dancers. Ken Harrower, the oldest student to graduate from the Toronto Film School, has appeared in multiple films and has been the subject of two CBC documentaries about his life.
In development for the past eight years, Access Me was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press in the first Canadian anthology of disability plays, Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada. The collective behind the show, Boys in Chairs, is formed by Gurza, Harrower, Hull, Patterson, Postalian and Seinen.
The creative team is filled out by Dora-Award-nominees Michelle Tracey (Set Designer) and Jareth Li (Lighting Designer), as well as industry professionals Laura Delchiaro (Costume Designer), River Oliveira (Sound Designer) and Julia Howman (Projection Designer).
When: June 16 – 24, 2023
ASL Performances: Saturday June 17, 8:00 pm & Wednesday June 21, 8:00 pm
Audio Described Performances: Friday June 23, 7:00 pm & Saturday June 24, 4:00 pm
Where: Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E, Toronto
Approx. Runtime: 90 minutes
General | $35
Arts Worker, Student, Senior | $20
Disability Community, Wheelchair User | $5
To purchase tickets: HERE
Content advisory: There will be participation and sexual themes but not at the same time. Audiences should expect to be invited to participate, and move as able.