When Kathy Tweet decided to experiment with her Improbable Theatre Company, the audition notice read: "Calling all drama kings and queens." She got seven kings and queens to be part of a collectively autobiographical narrative called Actual Lives: Candid Snapshots, which will be performed in the Herberger Theater Center's Lunch Time Theater series.
Tweet is one of the founders of the company, which creates an opportunity to perform and write for people with disabilities. "We want to become an ensemble, and this is a marvelous way to do it," says Tweet, who did recruiting for Actual Lives at ABIL, a local disability advocacy group.
Cindy Brown, an accomplished theater director who has worked locally with many companies, including Theater Works, Writer's Circle and the now-defunct Planet Earth Theatre, also serves as the training and program coordinator for the AZ Office for Americans With Disabilities. She co-directs the project with Julie Peterson, another local director, actress and stage manager.
Brown says there were no auditions for the project, per se. "We just told them, If you'll come, if you'll write, if you'll commit to the rehearsal schedule, you have a part.'"
The group decided that it would limit rehearsal to three days a week to avoid strains on the actors' stamina. "This isn't about a polished, perfect piece. It's about learning about the lives of people who usually don't share their lives," says Brown.
"I love being a part of this group," says Tweet. "Once you get a taste of theater, there's something about it -- you're hooked."