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Jess Thom + Samuel Beckett at ReelAbilities TO

I had the immense pleasure of hosting a discussion and audience Q&A with performer Jess Thom following a screening of the film Me, My Mouth and I at the ReelAbilties Toronto film festival in June.

The film, directed by Sophie Robinson, chronicles Thom’s journey of learning the ferociously difficult theatre piece Not I, by playwright Samuel Beckett. Thom is the first disability-identified performer to take on the role, and her performance of the work is electric and utterly personal. It was fantastic to chat with Thom (and her friend and creative collaborator, Matthew Pountney) following the screening—we discussed the disruptive potential of disability arts, the ongoing need for accessible theatre practices, Thoms’ views on disability activism, and much more.

ReelAbilities is a festival that originally began in the USA, and which showcases films by and about Deaf and disability culture and is such an important contribution to disability art and culture in North America. More info on the festival HERE.

Megan Johnson