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Adam - Writer & Performer

I'm originally from Newfoundland, and I came to Vancouver in 2008 to study screenwriting at film school. I did a bunch of that, and you can see a couple of the films on my website. But a lot of the work that I ended up doing in the film industry itself wasn't particularly satisfying. My background is actually in theatre and performance, and so, once I got to Vancouver, I had a few opportunities to perform in theatre.

My first one came in 2016 to perform in a show called Creeps. It’s by a guy named David Freeman, and it’s actually a pretty significant show in Canadian theatre. So I got a chance to do that show, and a bunch of people saw me in it, and then I got an opportunity to do some more shows. And then I wrote my first play, which came as a commission from an organization called Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture. And so, that opportunity came and I took that, and the show did quite well.

I should probably make it clear that I am a wheelchair user. I have cerebral palsy. If you don’t know about it, cerebral palsy exists on a wide spectrum—I have a unique manifestation where I only really have a significant effect on my lower extremities. When my parents found out that my condition wouldn’t affect my speech, they put me in singing lessons. I started getting up in front of people and performing different things. At the time, I wasn’t aware of what it meant socially for me to be up there, but I just thought it was cool that people like to see me perform.

I'm still by virtue of my chair underrepresented on stage. So a large part of my work is to represent and offer representations that are not typically seen of folks with physical disabilities. I can say that I have been really fortunate to be able to work with a lot of theatre companies that don't identify directly with disability and some that do.

And so, I feel like I have a choice in how I represent others. I think now, in a way that I didn't before—maybe in the last 10 years—at this point in my career, it's become a question of how I can be useful to other people rather than like, how do I get my story up there. Because I’ve gotten my stories up there. But it's become a question of how I can help other folks now who still can't get into the traditional classrooms and still can't or aren’t being represented on stages. How do I help them be represented in a way that portrays them authentically?

So that's kind of a goal of this phase of my career. I probably got a couple more pieces of my own, but I think over the next, three or four years, given some opportunities that are coming up for me, I'll probably shift focus to helping the next generation of makers who have in one way or another felt less represented on stage.

***Check out his website:


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