Image from Voices

Playwright: KelsyAnne Schoenhaar
Director: Sarah Luedtke & KelsyAnne Schoenhaar
Year: 2009
Produced: Wisconsin Developmental Disabilities Network

Voices is a collection of new and revived work performed in Hurron, South Dakota. The performance covers everything from miscommunication, excessive diversity, an organist with a plan to take over, pop star asperations and self-determination.

Shut up and answer me! is a piece that was written in 2003 and performed with Chris Burke of Life Goes On fame. Revived for the Voices performance this piece shows just how unaware people can be of themselves and others.

Can I Help You? was written in 2009 specifically for the South Dakota trip. It was tailored to an actor whose deadpan delivery was perfect for the character. You follow Lori through three different jobs and see how her confusing anal-retentiveness infuriates customers, delivery drivers and bosses.

In 2008 True Diversity was written and performed as an info-share piece. It was brought back for Voices to the delight of the directors, actors and audience. Debbie wants to understand what it’s like to be involved in a group that is open and welcoming to everyone but what she finds maybe just a bit much for her to take. Tagged as a “Nervous, blue-jean wearing, blonde, Eastern Orthodox who may or may not be anorexic” she meets up with a “Punky, druid, leather-wearing, chain-smoking, white woman who can’t find a mate” and witnesses the interaction between a “Blind, Catholic, pro-life, ultra conservative” and a “Methodist, pro-choice, liberal.”

In Reverend Paul & Saint Christie you meet a blind organists who expresses her desire for power over the congregation and even Reverend Paul himself. Her desire expands into threats, ideas to take over the sermon and incorporate rap songs.

You Are My Sunshine was written for the South Dakota performance with two actors in mind. Robin believes she has what it takes to be the next American Idol but her friends Carol, Christie and Dawn aren’t so sure about it.

Self-determination is a catch phrase in the world of people with disabilities today. For centuries people with disabilities have been labeled and told what to do. A passionate and comical monologue opens this piece with a compelling message that people with disabilities and other challenges have a mind of their own. Not stubborn; not strong-willed, but self-determined… determined to accomplish ones dreams and overcome barriers. This scene is followed by a musical interlude featuring the lead vocals of Christie Stadele.

Not Stubborn… Not Strong-Willed has played to audiences all over Wisconsin and now in Hurron, South Dakota.


November 6th

Note: Historical detail provided by MadStage.

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