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.



  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.

  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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