October 19, 2018

On Saturday, October 20th the University of Sioux Falls hosts a history-making performance of ABLE: The Disability Chronicles presented by Flutter Productions. The show will be the first production staged in South Dakota that has been written and performed in part by individuals with disabilities and those who support them.

“Flutter Productions exists to provide performance opportunities to people of all abilities,” said Joe Obermueller, assistant professor of theatre at USF. “Their mission aligns with the goals of USF’s theatre department in that we always seek ways to bring theatre to all people, especially those who may not ever step foot in our building or those who others perceive could never participate in live performance.”

The show features 12 vignettes consisting of spoken word and dance reflecting diverse abilities and disability culture. ABLE is performed by an all-ability cast of 12 people. Among other highlights, the evening will feature a real-life quartet of parents and children performing a piece about their journey with Down syndrome, a duet between a poet and dancer about autism, and a piece about assistive devices.

“I see people out in the community and what they end up looking at is the hardware,”  said James “JJ” Janis, one of the cast members. “No, no, no, the chair is not me. Yes, yes, yes, I long to be free.”

JJ was encouraged to write back in the 1970s by one of his high school English teachers. One poem he wrote, entitled: Paperwork, won an award in a national competition and was posted in the governor’s office in Pierre. Flutter Productions has renewed his love of writing poetry and has given him a public forum.

ABLE is the seventh original production by Flutter, an all-ability movement based theatre company and division of Black Hills Works, which supports more than 600 people with disabilities in Rapid City. ABLE features original music composed by Andrew Grace of Inouye, and choreography by Sara Olivier. Heather Pickering is the director.

The performance will be held on Saturday, October 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Meredith Auditorium in the Jeschke Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $5 for students with valid ID and $10 for adults. Tickets are available online at www.usiouxfalls.edu/ticketsor by calling 605-331-6787. 

For more information, contact Heather Pickering, Director/Artistic Director of Flutter Productions, athpickering@bhws.com or 605-718-8338.

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