Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER Disability storytelling aims to focus on intersectionality
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2018-06-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"I didn't come out as a little person until I was 26."

So begins a story written and performed by Tekki Lomnicki, artistic director of Tellin' Tales Theatre and director of Divercity, Tellin' Tales fifth annual solo performance showcase whose cast members all have disabilities. This year's Divercity opens June 22 at Prop Thtr, and performers' disabilities include blindness, brain injury, Holt-Oram Syndrome, muscular degeneration and dwarfism.

However, Lomnicki didn't always feel at home in the disabled community.

"I always had this feeling that I was very alone," she said via phone. "I didn't bond with other people with disabilities because I was in a regular classroom." As an adult, she began teaching storytelling workshops to kids with disabilities and found a whole new world. "Once I started meeting these children, I realized they were just like me: fighting to make a difference in the world and be accepted, and I just had an instant bond with them."

Since then, she's become an advocate for people with disabilities. Lomnicki said, "[Before] I wanted to blend in and 'pass' as a person without a disability when it was, like, hello?"

Divercity's title, Lomnicki said, originated "because Chicago is such a diverse city and we are a diverse people." She added, "it has become a big hit for [Tellin' Tales] … because there are not enough solo performers with disabilities out there that the general public sees."

Divercity performers develop their stories through a six-week workshop that Lomnicki leads. No acting experience is required and thanks to funding from the Chicago Community Trust, the workshop is free. Because space is limited, when choosing applicants Lomnicki "just did first come, first serve. Everybody's interesting, you know?"

During the six weeks, "[w]e worked on setting, characters, point of view … and we also talked about conflict. Every story has to have a conflict and to me, that's key." Lomnicki also stressed the idea of "show, not tell" to workshop participants: "Doing a performance is not about narrative; it's about actually talking to someone and being natural." From there, performers adapted their stories for the stage. "[Our stories] are theater, not just where we stand up and tell them," Lomnicki explained. "It's music and lighting and blocking, and people moving around the stage."

Regarding intersectionality, Lomnicki said, "We as people are not only disabled." This year Divercity has its first-ever deaf performer, who attended workshop sessions with interpreters. "He's doing this fabulous piece about labels and how [not to] put a label on him because he's so many different things!" Lomnicki enthused. "He doesn't like [to be called] hearing-impaired, he can't stand that. And he's gay and he doesn't like being labeled as a bear or a cub!"

Performer Derrick Dawson, a gay Black veteran who lost a leg from diabetes, will present a story on a life-changing job experience. "He was giving this anti-racism workshop and he realized by sharing how many different personas he had, how many different intersections of identity his life took, that he was reaching so many other people that he would have if he'd kept to himself," Lomnicki said. "This one woman came to him and said that just by being here and taking this class, she was able to tell her father she was bisexual."

According to Lomnicki, Dawson's story and several others inspired the intersectionality theme. "There are going to be people in that audience…that are going to be touched by Derek's story and say 'hey yeah, I'm some of those things and it's okay.' I may not be disabled, someone might say, but I am LGBTQ or I am a veteran or I am Black." Overall, Lomnicki said, intersectionality fits in well with Divercity's mission: to break down barriers between those with disabilities and those without. "We feel that once people hear the personal stories of someone with a disability, you see that we really have more than common than we don't," she said. "We are more alike than different."

Tellin' Tales Theatre Presents: Divercity runs June 22-24 at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. There will be an additional performance July 8 at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Midway Park. For more information, visit TellinTales.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago Dramatists has leadership changes 2018-11-14 - Chicago Dramatists announced it has accepted the resignation of Executive Director Vanessa Bamber. Bamber will continue in her position until Dec. 31, according ...


Gay News

Weiss psychologist earns WPATH award 2018-11-14 - Weiss Memorial Hospital's Randi Ettner, Ph.D., received the Distinguished Education and Advocacy Award from the World Professional Association For Transgender Health ( WPATH ...


Gay News

Sophia Petrillo Italian Dinner and Talent Show to benefit Hell in a Handbag 2018-11-14 - CHICAGO ( November 13, 2018 ) — Join Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia for Hell in a Handbag Productions' annual benefit, The Sophia ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Battling Trump via art, an actor's superpower 2018-11-14 - Let's acknowledge one thing, after two years of misery: Our president is not stupid. He is not an idiot or moron. In ...


Gay News

Erie marks success in HIV-suppression rates 2018-11-14 - BChicago-based Erie Family Health Centers announced in late October that it had reached its highest-ever success rates—about 93.4 percent—in HIV-positive patients achieving suppressed ...


Gay News

Komen raises $600K during October 2018-11-14 - Throughout October, Komen Chicago raised more than $600,000 during this year's Breast Cancer Action Month. These funds come in large part from Komen ...


Gay News

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce honoring Heels & Hardhats 2018-11-14 - The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( NNGLCC ) will be honoring several organizations during the 2018 NGLCC National Dinner—including local company Heels ...


Gay News

The Merion offers an LGBT-inclusive senior living experience 2018-11-14 - Nestled three short blocks away from Lake Michigan in downtown Evanston, the Merion offers older adults a place to live and thrive while ...


Gay News

YEPP's 'Rise Up' taking place Nov. 14 2018-11-14 - In recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience and Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) will host "Rise ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Going to the doctor 2018-11-14 - "Visiting the doctor doesn't have to be all gloom and doom," said my sweetheart. "We can make it fun." Remember the all-powerful, usually ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.