Photos: Go Inside Rehearsals for Off-Broadway World Premiere of Ryan J. Haddad's Dark Disabled Stories | Playbill

Photo Features Photos: Go Inside Rehearsals for Off-Broadway World Premiere of Ryan J. Haddad's Dark Disabled Stories

Haddad's autobiographical play will start its run at The Public February 28 in a co-production with The Bushwick Starr.

Dickie Hearts, Ryan J. Haddad, and Alejandra Ospina in rehearsal Dark Disabled Stories Image Description: Ryan J. Haddad, Dickie Hearts, and Alejandra Ospina sit next to each other in the rehearsal room with black floor and a white wall. The room is lit with florescent lighting with folding chairs. Ryan is a Lebanese American man with short black hair, brown eyes, and round, tortoiseshell glasses. He wears a red, yellow, and green plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans, and black sneakers. He is softly laughing, holding his script, and his walker is in front of him. Dickie Hearts sits two seats down. Dickie has olive skin and dark chocolate-colored curly hair. He smiles widely, wearing a yellow and blue plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans, and brown and black cowboy boots. He has a music stand in front of him and is communicating in ASL. Alejandra Ospina sits next to Dickie on his right. She is a light-skinned Latina with short dark hair that is slicked back. She wears a grey, wool knit cap, round glasses, and a black face mask. She wears a baby blue long sleeve blouse and is holding her iPad with the script. She sits in her black motorized wheelchair with a grey blanket. Joan Marcus

The Public Theater and The Bushwick Starr's upcoming world premiere co-production of Ryan J. Haddad's Dark Disabled Stories will begin previews Off-Broadway February 28. Directed by Jordan Fein, the new play will officially open at The Public's Shiva Theater March 9 and continue through March 26.

Haddad will lead the cast, sharing the stage with Dickie Hearts (Tales of the City) and Alejandra Ospina (Great Race Through Time and Space!).

The autobiographical work, which serves as Haddad's Off-Broadway playwriting debut, is described as a "series of unforgiving vignettes" about the strangers Haddad encounters in a world not built for his disability.

Check out photos from rehearsals for the premiere below: 

Photos: Go Inside Rehearsals for Public and Bushwick Starr Production of Dark Disabled Stories

"When Noel Allain asked what project I might like to bring to The Bushwick Starr, I had this collection of stories in mind, but never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the production we are embarking to make," shares Haddad. "Dark Disabled Stories is about disparate moments in my life, but when each of them happened, I was just hoping to have a regular day, until someone, somehow, either directly or indirectly reminded me that I was disabled, as if I wasn't already aware. They're ordinary, sometimes funny stories that turn dark because of the ways the world is taught to interact with disability, or the measures people take to avoid and ignore disability entirely. I'm excited for audiences to balk, laugh, and cringe with me about the ways strangers can be very strange."

Great lengths are being taken to ensure the production is as accessible as possible to audience members with disabilities. All performances will feature open captioning, ASL, and audio descriptions integrated into the performance rather than relegated to special evenings. The Public has also expanded wheelchair and mobility access.

The production will feature scenic and costume design by dots, lighting design by Oona Curley, sound design by Kathy Ruvuna, and video design by Kameron Neal. Andrew Morrill will serve as director of artistic sign language, with Alison Kopit as accessibility consultant. The production stage manager is Melanie Lisby with Miriam Rochford serving as interpreter coordinator and stage manager. Peter Royston will also serve as a stage manager.

Haddad previously developed his solo play Hi, Are You Single? as part of the Public's 2017 Under the Radar: INCOMING! series, and the work later played D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He recently appeared in New York Theatre Workshop's american (tele)visions and The Watering Hole at Signature Theatre. He's been seen on screen in The Politician and Retreat.

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