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Dark Disabled Stories


DARK DISABLED STORIES Inside Look | The Public Theater
Shiva Theater February 28 - April 9, 2023 75 minutes with no intermission

World Premiere
By Ryan J. Haddad
Directed by Jordan Fein
Produced by The Bushwick Starr
Presented by The Public Theater 

Acclaimed writer and performer Ryan J. Haddad makes his off-Broadway playwriting debut with the hilarious and audacious DARK DISABLED STORIES

Haddad’s newest autobiographical play is a series of unforgiving vignettes about the strangers he encounters while navigating a city (and a world) not built for his walker and cerebral palsy. Directed by Jordan Fein, DARK DISABLED STORIES probes implicit ableism and the assumptions we make about people we'll never really know.


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Content and Production Effect Warning

Learn about runtimes, late seating, production effect advisories, and more.


DARK DISABLED STORIES will offer Open Captions, Audio Descriptions, and American Sign Language at every performance. Learn more below about accessible seating accommodations and our audience experience before selecting your seats for the performance.  

  • Captions and ASL are integrated into the design and staging of the production, so patrons need not sit in a designated area to access them. Still, we encourage members of the d/Deaf and hard of hearing communities to sit in the center of the house and at least a few rows back for optimal viewing.
  • Audio descriptions of the production are included in the script's text, and a separate device is not necessary to access the description. 
  • We have expanded our wheelchair and mobility disability seating access in the front row of the Shiva Theater for this production. Still, space is limited based on the capacity of the venue, and we ask that companions who do not require accessible seating choose companion seats in the second row for the performance. The Public may adjust seating locations before or upon arrival at the performance to reunite parties who have been separated during the reservation process.
  • The Public may adjust seating locations before or upon arrival to assist in meeting accommodation requests from guests with disabilities. We appreciate your assistance and support of a welcoming and inclusive experience for all.
  • All performances of DARK DISABLED STORIES are relaxed performances. A relaxed performance shifts traditional theater conventions in favor of an audience that may benefit from more sensory considerations and openness surrounding social norms. In DARK DISABLED STORIES' version of relaxed performances, there is less dramatic lighting and no strobes, house lights are always dim and never fully dark, loud abrupt sounds are limited, and people can come and go as they please to use the bathroom or take a break.

  • At any time, audience members may use the movement space, which is located on the right side of the theater and will be marked by tape and a sign. A movement space is an open area within the theater where audience members can pace, move, stim, stand, or sit on the ground while still experiencing the show from inside the theater.

  • Before the show, there will be tactile samples of the set that audience members are invited to touch and interact with. These samples will be located on the right side of the theater against the wall in the movement space.

  • ALDs are available upon request when the house opens (generally 30 minutes prior to each performance) free-of-charge and on a first-come, first-serve basis at the theater entrance by speaking to the house manager or ticket taker. 

  • Please access the Performance Social Narrative that will provide you more information on attending the show at The Public.
  • If you require additional assistance in purchasing your tickets or accommodation due to a disability, don't hesitate to contact us by calling Audience Services at 212.967.7555 or 


Image of Ryan J. Haddad

Ryan J. Haddad


Image of Dickie Hearts

Dickie Hearts


Image of Alejandra Ospina

Alejandra Ospina



Ryan J. Haddad
Jordan Fein
Scenic & Costume Design
Oona Curley
Lighting Design
Kameron Neal
Video Design
Kathy Ruvuna
Sound Design
Andrew Morrill
Director of Artistic Sign Language
Alison Kopit
Access Dramaturg


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