Apologies for cross-posting.
The Journal of Consent-Based Performance is calling for papers for the
upcoming special issue "Consent is an Access Issue: Rethinking Disability,
Accessibility, and Consent-Based Theatre Practices." This issue is guest
edited by Dr. Catherine (Katya) Vrtis, scholar of disability and theatre,
current Accessibility Officer for the Mid-America Theatre Festival, and the
Co-Founder and inaugural Chair of the Disability, Theatre, and Performance
Focus Group for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
We highly encourage all artists, educators, and researchers working at the
intersection of disability studies, crip theory, and theatre and
performance to submit papers for this special issue.
*JCBP *is accepting submissions through March 31, 2024. The full text of
the CFP and directions for submission can be found here:
Thank you for your time and consideration.
CFP Full Text:
Themed Issue: Consent is an Access Issue: Rethinking Disability,
Accessibility, and Consent-Based Theatre Practices
Call for Papers Deadline: March 31, 2024
“Disabled people’s liberation cannot be boiled down to logistics.”
Logistics, policies, “diversifying” seasons through quotas,
and pre-prescribed accommodations will never establish a liberatory theatre
or educational process; liberatory space can only be created through
unbegrudging access and openness to fully, intersectionally welcoming all
people. Mia Mingus (2017) highlights the experience of many disabled folx,
who are told “we must shrink ourselves and our desires to settle for living
in the wake of an able-bodied parade.” Alison Kafer (2013) argues that our
society not only pressures disabled people to shrink, but seeks their
eradication, stating that disabled people are treated with a “presumption
of agreement” with the abled perspective in which “disabled people are
continually being written out of the future, rendered as a sign of the
future no one wants.” Both Mingus and Kafer highlight ways in which our
social and legal structures strip disabled people of the right to consent.
These dynamics are further complicated by intersectional
identification with multiple disenfranchised populations, which compounds
the experience of violation, exclusion, and misrepresentation. Rarely do
organizations dedicated to liberation from one form of oppression
proactively consider questions of access and inclusion for those
experiencing other forms of discrimination. Drawing on her experience as a
“queer physically disabled Korean transracial and transnational adoptee
raised in the Caribbean” (Mingus 2009), Mingus writes evocatively of the
pain of experiencing one (or more) forms of discrimination in spaces
dedicated to fighting against another, noting “the ways that ableism and
white supremacy work together so successfully to isolate disabled people of
color continues to break my heart.” Our identities are simultaneous; we can
never separate our disability from other aspects of our being. When only
one element of identity is respected and included, the whole self is
In theatrical spaces, disabled people are often forcibly
absent; the vast majority–more than ninety-five percent--of disabled roles
are performed by abled performers (Kataja 2020), and only extremely rarely
are disabled artists hired for non-explicitly disabled roles or any other
position in the theatre. Furthermore, the vast majority of theatrical
spaces and processes were designed with only ableds in mind. In theatrical
settings and in theatre education, then, when disabled people are actually
present, the disabled bodymind is treated as a crisis to be solved or a
material to be molded to fit abled expectations–of character
interpretation, of physical practice and style, and of ways of inhabiting
space and time. However, when the problem is viewed as located in the being
of the disabled individual, the only solutions seen are the removal of
disability, through ability-masking, when possible, and the complete
rejection and removal of the student/artist who cannot or will not conform
to ableist expectation.
When the lived experience of disabled people is so thoroughly
permeated by exclusion, shrinking (Mingus 2017), or being molded in order
to survive in abled spaces, the choices and actions of disabled students
and artists is inherently shaped by coercive forces, rendering full and
free consent to educators, directors, and managers absent barring specific,
extraordinary effort on the part of the abled individuals in power, an
issue further complicated by intersectional experience of oppression across
multiple identifications. As such, the future of a disability-inclusive
theatre depends on ensuring all bodyminds experience a space built around
not only access, but the physical and emotional safety necessary to create
consensual intimacy, and with it the kind of daring, risky performance
choices leading to the best of the theatrical arts.
For this special issue of the* Journal of Consent-Based
Performance*, co-edited by *JCBP *corresponding editor Amanda Rose
Villarreal and guest editor Catherine (Katya) Vrtis, we are calling for
theoretical and practical interventions to this eliminationist view of
disability in theatre pedagogy, practice, and scholarship. These approaches
can include but are not limited to considerations of the following
1. How does access intimacy inform current consent-based practices?
2. How can a consent-forward approach serve to create access intimacy
in the theatrical space?
3. How can abled workers in the theatre, especially those in positions
of power, create space for free and full consent/non-consent when working
with disabled students and artists?
4. In what ways can anti-ableist approaches such as universal design
and disability-inclusive production techniques be woven into theatrical
design and performance processes and spaces?
5. How can disability inclusion be built into production from the view
of direction, design, management, and other non-performance roles?
6. How can radically and intersectionally inclusive pedagogical
theories and approaches inform performances of intimacy and intimacy
choreography and coordination practices?
7. Additionally, what unique considerations are necessary when working
with disabled performers on intimacy and intimacy choreography and
8. How are disabled characters mis/represented in dramatic literature?
9. Where are eliminationist and other anti-disabled ideologies
promoted and normalized in theatre history and dramatic literature?
10. How can anti-ableism and access intimacy be enacted through
theatre pedagogy, praxis, and scholarship?
The *JCBP *will be accepting scholarly articles and notes from the field
for this issue until March 31, 2024.
Manuscripts can be submitted at
For an overview of JCBP’s distinction between Notes From the Field and
Articles, please review our submission guidelines at
Kafer, Alison. 2013. Feminist, Queer, Crip. 1st edition. Bloomington
(Ind.): Indiana University Press.
Kataja, Rosanna. 2020. “Inclusion, Don’t Forget About Us: Disabilities in
Performing Arts.” Harvard Political Review (blog). October 24, 2020.
Mingus, Mia. 2009. “About.” Leaving Evidence (blog). October 29, 2009.
———. 2017. “Access Intimacy, Interdependence and Disability Justice.” Leaving
Evidence (blog). April 12, 2017.