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Anachronism

When I learned that my choir would be doing a play, I commenced to worrying about the wheelchair, and how the director was going to want handle it – hide it? Try to do something period-appropriate? Ignore it? I learned at the run-through Saturday that she has decided to allow the anachronism of a modern wheelchair in a period piece. I’m relieved, and no one else seems particularly alarmed.

Katja

2 Comments

  1. Katja

    I would consider a number of different solutions – your idea of disguise, as long as it didn’t permanently damage the chair; using an appropriate regular (non-wheel) chair and blocking scenes accordingly; or even using a period (wicker back) wheelchair and having another actor push me. Success with the latter two options would probably depend on adequate rehearsal.

    In my public life I want to be independent, but in a play I would not mind being carried or positioned between scenes as long as it was rehearsed and safe for everyone involved.

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  2. Alasdair King

    If you had been directing, what would you have done? Would you have been offended if an attempt had been made to make your wheelchair more period-specific – say, using masking tape, paint and varnish to make it look wooden or bronze?

    I direct (amateur!) plays and shows, and while I’ve never had a wheelchair user in any of my productions – and wouldn’t have any problem with it – I might, depending on the production, consider asking them if they’d consider any changes to the wheelchair. I think the best approach might be to simply make it very neutral – ideally, paint it black, but certainly remove any visible labels or text – and simply assume they audience will pay no more attention to it than the fact that the background is paint on a cloth, not really a view of the Palace of Westminster…

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