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Just Announced: Two-Year Residency with The Apothetae.

Pictured: Katherine Williams, Gregg Mozgala, and Kim Weild. Photo by Nina Wurtzel.

Join us in celebrating a two-year residency with The Apothetae, the New York-based theater company dedicated to producing works that explore and illuminate the “Disabled Experience.” As part of The Public’s multi-year initiative exploring accessibility in development, process, performances, documentation, and aesthetic, The Apoethetae’s residency will workshop TITUS ANDRONICUS, developing a bilingual production in English and American Sign Language (ASL) that explores how the integration of d/Deaf and Disabled artists offers new insights into Shakespeare’s text. 

“Our partners at The Apothetae are teaching us every day that—to invoke the language of dramaturg and artistic co-lead Katherine Williams—human variation is a resource for artistic creation,” said The Public Theater’s Director of New Work Development Amrita Ramanan and Senior Dramaturg Sarah Lunnie. “We are proud to collaborate with them to manifest a more imaginative, liberatory artistic future at The Public.” 

“It’s our firm belief that, even in 2023, casting d/Deaf and Disabled artists is a radical act,” said Gregg Mozgala, Artistic Director of The Apothetae. “We want alternatives to current pervasive cultural narratives of disability as inspiration, overcoming adversity, or death with dignity. We are intentionally choosing Shakespeare’s texts and placing them in active dialogue with lived experience and exploring access aesthetics in order to reveal new dimensions of artistry, talent, and virtuosity that these communities have to offer.”  

As part of this partnership, The Public is providing support for The Apothetae’s current project, “Upon Your Imaginary Forces,” whose co-artistic leadership includes Mozgala, Kim Weild (Carnegie Mellon University), and Katherine Williams (University of Toronto). The Apothetae’s TITUS ANDRONICUS is part of a larger project focusing on four Shakespearean works—Titus Andronicus; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; As You Like It; and King Henry VI, Part III. Over the next two years, the project will investigate how all the elements of theatrical meaning—from text to performance to audience engagement–might center Disabled and d/Deaf identities in every element of the theatrical concept and characterization.

The residency offers an unprecedented opportunity to explore how familiar Shakespeare plays acquire new meaning when Disabled and d/Deaf actors are empowered to exercise their craft. As director and co-artistic lead Kim Weild notes, “beginning with commissioning Directors of Artistic Sign Language, Kailyn Aaron-Lozano, Kalen Feeney, and Andrew Morrill, to create a new complete translation of the entire play into ASL, we are actively working to identify new protocols for a bilingual rehearsal process centering the needs of d/Deaf and Disabled artists, as we aim to expand, innovate, and create new, radical paradigms for integrated and inclusive theatrical practice.” 

The Apothetae’s residency builds upon its relationship with The Public Theater, which began in 2016 with the Public Studio presentation of Teenage Dick by Michael Lew. The show was again staged in 2018 at The Public, presented in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Gregg Mozgala also appeared as Edward IV/Richmond in last summer’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard III. 

Pictured: Katherine Williams, Gregg Mozgala, and Kim Weild. Photo by Nina Wurtzel.


The Apothetae was founded in 2012 by actor Gregg Mozgala (Cost of Living, Teenage Dick) with a mission dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the “Disabled Experience.” 

Since 2012, The Apothetae’s work has been presented at Dixon Place, The Public Theater, BAM, The Kennedy Center, Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center, Florida Studio Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Woolly Mammoth, The Huntington, and Pasadena Playhouse.  In 2017, The Apothetae and The Lark launched The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship—a first of its kind national fellowship, including a two-year residency for a writer who identifies as Deaf/Disabled as well as convenings and community conversations. The company has received support from the Ford Foundation, Eugene Lang Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

The Apothetae residency models an unprecedented structure of collaboration: as Artistic Director, Mozgala invited artistic co-leadership with Kim Weild, award-winning director (American Moor, soot and spit, Fêtes de la Nuit) and Head of the John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University; and Katherine Williams, leading scholar in the field of Shakespeare and disability studies (author of Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English Theater) at the University of Toronto. This active partnership between artists, scholars, and theater-makers reflects The Apothetae’s commitment to expanding the field of Disability Performance.