When disabled actors Teal Shere and Christopher Imbrosciano appear in the Citadel Theatre’s upcoming production of Cost of Living, they’ll be the first artists in the facility’s history to have fully accessible washrooms available for their use backstage in the Shoctor Theatre.
The two actors (who use wheelchairs) and the Pulitzer-prize-winning play they inhabit were the motivation for Citadel officials to jump on a long-needed renovation to the Shoctor stage, which opened in 1976. The $130,000 makeover was made possible by a partnership between Chandos Construction and the Citadel, as well as a grant from Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and money from the Edmonton Community Foundation’s Bentley Fund.
“Previously, we focused on the patron experience, and this was a perfect opportunity for us to ensure that our backstage was also accessible,” said Citadel executive director Chantall Ghosh. “When we decided to do Cost of Living, which has two artists with mobility aids, we needed to make sure we had a welcome and accessible space for our artists.”