Community Partner


November 19, 2022

Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Come celebrate A.B.L.E.’s return to the stage!

After a nearly 3-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the A.B.L.E. ensemble is producing their first ever full-day festival in partnership with Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  RECONNECT  will feature the work of 58 members of the A.B.L.E. community - 33 performers with disabilities, 17 volunteer facilitators, and 8 Teaching Artists. 

Over the course of a 10 week rehearsal process, each of A.B.L.E.’s 3 ensembles have collaborated to develop original monologues, scenes, movement pieces, and songs inspired by their own lives and experiences with connection. Pieces range from touching letters to loved ones we’ve lost, to celebrations of our closest friends, to humorous dream dates, to meditations on the good and bad of social media, as well as poignant reflections on the fears and miscommunications that get in the way of true connection. They are sharing their work in two distinctive multimedia shows, blending live performances with filmed content from A.B.L.E.’s virtual ensemble.

Between the shows, the public is invited to participate in an interactive workshop with A.B.L.E.'s Creative Associates and Teaching Artists to experience how A.B.L.E. brings their ideas to the stage.

You can buy a ticket for one, two, or all three events. How do you want to RECONNECT?

11:00 a.m. Performance

It is hard when your loved ones are far away. Through scenes, monologues, and lots of movement, this multimedia show is built around the letters we imagine sending to our loved ones, sharing the good, the bad, the scary, and the silly along the way.  (Approx. 80 minutes, no intermission)

Featuring The Sunday Ensemble: 
Colin Baar, Marissa Bloodgood, Jack Butler, Samuel Floersheimer, Peter Grzeslo, Emily Kwidzinski, Maggie Leal, and Jake Solworth supported by Amy Bahr, Perry Hunt, Lawrence Kern, Bill Larkin, Kate McDuffie, Jenna Rapisarda, Camila Restrepo, and Susan Sjodin 

With Special Appearances from the Virtual Ensemble:
Benjamin Collins, Martin Conway, Alena Counter Brown, Natalia Janik, and Matt La Chapelle supported by Nette Angelini, Erica Evans, Lawrence Kern, Julianne Shea, Abby Wesley, Polly Yukevich, and Melanie Zehner

2:00 p.m. Public Workshop

Peek behind the curtain and experience for yourself how A.B.L.E. brings our performances to the stage. In this interactive session, A.B.L.E.’s Creative Associates and Teaching Artists will teach you some of our favorite games for devising.  All levels of skill and ability are welcome. This special session is limited to 20 participants. (90 minutes, Ages 10+)

Led By:
Colleen Altman, Rachel Buchanan, Andrew Kosnik, and Lucas Miezal with Kiaran Hartnett,  Kaylie Honkala, and Arin Mulvaney.

7:00 p.m. Performance

No matter how much we want to connect, sometimes things get in the way - fear, miscommunication, and our own minds. Through music, monologues, scenes, and movement, we share reflections from our own lives on the way to finding deeper connections with our friends, our community, and ourselves. (Approx 80 minutes, no intermission)

Featuring The Monday Ensemble: 
Christian Boyd, Sandia Coleman, Matt Danaher, Sophie Earvolino, Ryan Foley, Anna Luzadder, Francesca Maddock, Maggie Marren, Matt Marren, Claire O’Leary, Sam Radinsky, and Lucy Walsh supported by Mary Kate Ashe, Chloe Belongilot, Braden Cleary, Shannon Diegel, Noah Glaser, Lindsay Stock, Haley Wolf, and Katie Yohe

With Special Appearances from the Virtual Ensemble:
Rachel Buchanan, Fletcher Jones, Christian Kroski, Emily Lavin, and Mila Medina supported by Nette Angelini, Erica Evans, Lawrence Kern, Julianne Shea, Abby Wesley, Polly Yukevich, and Melanie Zehner

Can’t attend live? That’s okay! Performances will be available to stream On Demand in January 2023 from

More about A.B.L.E.

A.B.L.E. - Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations - is celebrating their 6th anniversary of creating theatre and film projects for, with, and by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A.B.L.E. engages actors ages 13 and up through performance ensembles, specialized workshops, and outreach programming. Whether in person or online, all A.B.L.E. programs strive to foster agency, and nurture lifelong skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity.  A.B.L.E.'s ensembles have produced more than 25 projects for the stage and screen, ranging from adaptations of theatrical classics by Shakespeare, Dickens, and Gilbert & Sullivan, to original work, to innovative Zoom projects including Romeo & Juliet Remix and the interactive story series Anthology. A.B.L.E.’s feature films have been recognized by several local and international festivals.  By placing people with disabilities in the spotlight, A.B.L.E.’s work strives to shift societal preconceptions, and build more inclusive, empathetic communities. For more information about A.B.L.E., please visit

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