To celebrate the 23rd Anniversary of the ADA, we decided to do something novel and innovative. Willa Crolius and myself produced the first ever Laugh & Learn featuring a panel discussion of comedians with disabilities. The event attracted a new audience and we had 'sitting room only'. National Public Radio (NPR) took an interest in the event. To hear the NPR radio show, "Turning Disability Into Comedy" or read the NPR article, "Did You Hear the One About the Comedian with No Arms or Legs"? We'd love to get your comments. Our video of the event is posted below.~ Oce and WillIa
Meet our Laugh and Learn Panelists:
VERONICA BLACKWELL is an actress-comedian with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the mother of two sons with ADD. She has appeared on television, and in films and commercials, and says she “copes” by performing her comedy at the many clubs in and around New York City.
JACK HANKE is a member of “Asperger's Are Us”. the first-ever comedy troupe composed entirely of people with Asperger's. He is currently an English and political science major and incoming junior at Gordon College. He will be spending the next two semesters studying at Oxford University.
JOE GENERA is an advocate for persons with disabilities as well as a musician, actor, and comedian. He has appeared in numerous television shows and commercials, and is a member of the Guilty Pleasures Improv Comedy Troupe and the Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble (MORE). He survived a workplace injury 30 years ago that resulted in paraplegia, and has recently been named the spokesperson for the Accessible Dispatch Taxi Program in New York City.
WILL LAUTZENHEISER of Massachusetts. Will was a filmmaker and professor of film production and screenwriting when he got a strep infection in the fall of 2011. This resulted in an amputation of his limbs, and a change in career. Will is a now a performing comedian and has performed at Improv Boston and other local venues.