The following is a list of inclusive theater / theatre companies producing plays by / for people with disabilities, including mental illness, or about the disability / mental health experience.
In addition to production opportunities, there are also development programs, residencies, competitions, and funding offers available.
* Inclusion here does not equal endorsement. Please do your own research before contacting any of these companies.
All links are current as of August 2020. If you find a non-working link, or if you know a publisher that should be added to / deleted from this list, please let me know.
— Nicole Melanson
ArtStream, Inc., reaches out to potential actors and playwrights who might lack opportunities elsewhere.
Founded in 2005, the nonprofit organization teaches communication and social skills through participation in the performing arts for individuals with IDDA – intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism.
Deaf Spotlight (USA)
Deaf Spotlight is seeking for showcase original, never-been-produced, 10-minute plays. Those chosen will be fully produced as part of our biennial one-act theatrical festival in Spring 2021 at a Seattle venue.
Submissions of original ten-minute plays will be accepted starting December 1, 2019. The submission deadline is October 31, 2020.
Eastern Front Theatre (Canada)
Eastern Front Theatre also runs the RBC Emerging Playwrights Program.
Epic Players (USA)
EPIC (Empower, Perform, Include, Create) Players is a nonprofit theatre company that opens the stage to all types of artists and seeks to shine a light on neuro-diverse talent. We believe our differences are our strengths. And that a more open stage connects artists and audiences to more representation, more inspiration, and more opportunities.
Each year, we work with our Players to develop works from their voice and story. This includes devised pieces, stand-up comedy, spoken word, and original playwriting.
Graeae (UK +)
Graeae is a force for change in world-class theatre, boldly placing D/deaf and disabled actors centre stage and challenging preconceptions.
Graeae welcomes Expressions of Interest for Beyond, designed to transform the careers of Deaf and Disabled artists, supporting new connections to artistic development opportunities, advice, training, mentoring and creative spaces within a national network of theatres.
Our flagship writer development programme Write to Play nurtures and develops five new writers each year, in partnership with some of the most exciting new writing theatres in the UK.
Running alongside Write to Play, Play Labs offer artists a one-day opportunity to explore an idea in an early phase of development, while Play Chats offer writers at the beginning of their career the chance to find out more about playwriting and how to begin to grow their ideas.
Graeae also runs programs for children.
Mixed Blood Theatre (USA)
As an organization that aspires and strives to be for all, Mixed Blood strongly encourages people of color, indigenous people, people with disabilities, people of any gender or gender identities or expressions, people of any sexual orientation, and people of any religion to reach out.
Play submissions welcome through New Play Exchange.
National Disability Theatre employs professional theatre artists who create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling; changes social policy and the nation’s narrative about disability culture; and provides a guiding model in accessibility for the arts and cultural sector.
NDT, as one voice within the larger umbrella of the disability community, acknowledges that the experience of disability occurs alongside other identities, and that disabled people who are black, brown, trans, queer, gender non-conforming, or non-binary have been historically marginalized within the mainstream disability rights movement. NDT aims to change that, and strives to create a brave, creative, theatrical space as free from oppression as possible.
Playwrights welcome to apply.
New York Deaf Theatre (USA)
New York Deaf Theatre aims to give Deaf and hard of hearing artists in the New York City area a creative and artistic home where they are the number one priority. We are a cultural home for the Deaf community to see their own lives and experiences reflected on stage, and we prove that there is a place for Deaf actors, creators, and designers in the vibrant fabric of New York City’s theatre community.
The New York Deaf Theatre, LTD (NYDT) was established in 1979 by a group of Deaf actors and theatre artists who wanted to create opportunities for the production of a dramatic art form that was not found elsewhere in New York City: plays in American Sign Language (ASL).
We are deeply committed to fostering the work of Deaf writers‚ but New York Deaf Theatre will accept submissions from ALL writers. We accept full scripts only — no queries‚ summaries‚ or sample pages‚ please.
Playwrights Guild of Canada (Canada)
We work to create more visibility and representation for women, people of colour, people with disabilities, indigenous and LGBTQ+ playwrights in theatre, and provide them with a safe and supportive community. With this lens, we design our services for greater inclusion and accessibility.
Playwrights Canada Press (Canada)
Playwrights Canada Press is a publisher of new Canadian plays. We exist to publish Canadian plays as well as, from time to time, theatre history, criticism, and biography. Through this we endeavour to raise the profile of Canadian theatre and theatre practitioners, promote dramatic literature, and contribute to the Canadian theatrical canon. Playwrights Canada Press strives to publish diverse and engaging Canadian plays and dramatic criticism of literary merit.
Playwrights Theatre (Canada)
Playwrights Theatre is a dramaturgically-focused theatre company that finds, nurtures, and advances the Canadian playwright, supporting new plays from creation to performance. We collaborate on new work with emerging and established theatre artists. We also run a residency program, WrightSpace.
PTC is continuously working to make all our programs accessible. We encourage writers with a lived experience of disability to apply for all of our programs. We are also an equity-seeking company, with a history of working with artists from numerous communities. We are dedicated to creating spaces within which Indigenous, Black, people of colour, LGBTQAI2+people, and people with intersectional identity perspectives can lead and create. Flexible timing and location, virtual sessions, attention to time of day and duration of work, and flexible stipend plans can all be designed with the artist to maximize creative satisfaction.
Queens Theatre (USA)
NAV accepts submissions of unpublished plays, giving preference to unproduced work by writers of color and other underrepresented voices. We are particularly interested in plays which reflect contemporary issues from various perspectives including race, culture, language, disability, nationality and gender. We accept full-length plays only – at least 70 minutes. Currently, we are looking for plays with small casts (2-4) and solo shows. No children’s shows, and please, one play per writer during each submission window. We are not considering musical submissions at this time.
RARE Theatre (Canada)
RARE Theatre serves communities that have expressed a need to not only be recognized, but to effect systemic, radical change through the art of theatre. RARE reaches out and finds the theatre artists in those communities who wish to create work for the stage, either through documentary theatre (Rare, Borne) or plays created for the performers specifically using stories told in extensive workshops.
RARE seeks to effect three important changes through its work: to change public perception about people living with visible and invisible differences; and to change the state of community-based art creation in Ontario. By connecting more people with arts and culture created with people with differences, we aim to inspire and enrich people’s lives, while challenging any and all preconceptions about people with exceptionalities.
Realwheels Theatre (Canada)
Realwheels Theatre creates and produces performances that deepen understanding of the disability experience. We tell stories in which disability itself is not the focus of conflict, but rather forms the landscape upon which universal issues are debated onstage.
Our vision is full inclusion and integration of disability both on – and off – Canadian stages; a barrier-free, diverse performing arts world that reflects the real world and all of its people.
Realwheels’ Playwriting Circle is aimed at writers who identify with disability.
Realwheels’ Playwright-in-Residence Award is for new theatre-based projects at various stages of development from emerging to mid-career playwrights who live with disability.
Sound Theatre Company (USA)
Sound Theatre Company envisions a world that joyfully nurtures the creation of transformative theatre experiences and celebrates the open, honest and truthful exchange of diverse and inclusive voices.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB) is the only professional Off-Broadway theater organization dedicated to advancing artists and developing audiences of people with disabilities and altering the misperceptions surrounding disability by proving, once and for all, that disability does not affect the quality or integrity of our art or artists.
TBTB hosts playmakers’ intensives.
Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences. We are currently looking to commission more work from disabled artists and companies.
Unlimited supports ambitious, creative projects by outstanding disabled artists and companies. The projects include theatre, dance, music, literature, performance, painting, sculpture, public artworks, photography, digital artworks, installations, films and more.
High school students are invited to explore the disability experience through the art of writing for performance. Young writers (6th grade and up) with disabilities and collaborative groups that include students with disabilities are encouraged to submit short works written to be performed: plays, spoken word poetry (for single performer or a group), or music theater.