(Erik Piepenburg’s article appeared in the 7/10 New York Times; via Pam Green.)
It’s not as rare as it used to be for disabled actors to play disabled characters, but they rarely are at center stage as much as in “Cost of Living,”Martyna Majok’s play at Manhattan Theater Club. Katy Sullivan, a bilateral above-the-knee amputee since birth, portrays the loudmouthed Ani, who loses her legs in a car accident. Gregg Mozgala has cerebral palsy, a condition he shares with his character, John, a testy Princeton graduate student.
Manhattan Theater Club needed only minor accommodations to mount the play, according to Stephen M. Kaus, the associate artistic producer. (There were “zero budgetary implications,” he added.) The theater installed two ramps backstage at City Center Stage 1 to help performers get from the house to backstage and from the green room to the stage level. By installing the ramps, the theater also anticipated understudies who might have different disabilities, and helped guests with disabilities who wanted to greet the cast.