Waiting for that Special Bus
This one man show has toured extensively across North America and
Australia to critical acclaim. It takes us into the living room
of a young man waiting to go out on a hot date; a young man with
a disability. He worries about all the things anyone worries about
before going out with someone new. Alan's particular frustration
is with the Para Transpo bus - which is getting later and later.
Will he ever get to his date?
and performed by Alan Shain, actor, writer, stand-up comic and disability
activist, this play challenges many assumptions about the lives
of disabled people. It is at the same time, funny, angry, tender
and always very real.
Alan Shains workshops have been bringing down the houses - and the
barriers - across North America for over 10 years. Alan, who grew
up with cerebral palsy, will tell stories of how he used his difference
to advantage, gaining acceptance and making friends. (A 200 pound
wheelchair with good brakes can make all the difference in a tug-of-war
game!) His humour challenges many assumptions about the lives of
people with disabilities and helps students see how they can accept
and celebrate differences of all kinds.
ARTIST EDUCATES THROUGH HUMOUR AND DRAMA IN SCHOOLS
year MASC asked Alan Shain to join the organization. This year Ottawa
area high school students have developed a greater awareness of
issues people with disabilities face daily. They've learned not
through a lecture or a book but from a live theatrical performance
and workshop right in their school.
An actor, writer,
comedian and disability activist, Alan Shain has created a dramatic
monologue which gives the audience an hour's insight into the complex,
frustrating and hilarious life he leads. "Still Waiting for
that Special Bus" is a one-man show where Shain spins a marvelous
tale of a young man's preparation for a 'hot' date. In real time,
Shain guides us through the frantic strokes that all of us have
taken in the image shattering current known as "getting ready".
Shain could be any one of us: swelling with the expectation of romance,
crushed with despair about his sex appeal, exploding with joy in
anticipation of dancing cheek to cheek, doused with doubts about
just how long his date will wait for him in the bar.
reams of jokes, punctuated from time to time with wild yelps of
ecstasy, is a message of a reality that only Shain, and others like
him, can know. No matter how self reliant he has become through
years of determination to live a life free from dependency on the
services of others, his efforts are constantly thwarted by the inconsistent
schedualing and operation of Para Transpo. He can, and brilliantly
does, wrestle with his own emotional demons ("Alan, you're
33 years old, too old to be chasing women you don't know!")
He takes full responsibility for himself ("Most people walk
up the stairs at Barrymores, I knee up them...putting my best knee
forward") From time to time with a silent chuckle, he lets
himself languish in the sympathy of others, ("There I was with
three women gently laying me on my bed") But when it comes
to the tangle of ordering, waiting for, calling again, and waiting
again which he must endure to use the Para-Transpo service, he feels
reduced to the level of a small dependent child. "May I please
go out tomorrow?" he pleads into the phone to the Para-Transpo
dispatcher. The experience is demeaning, humiliating and ultimately
threatens, once again, to ruin his plans for a very special evening.
"Still Waiting for that Special Bus" is one of MASC's
must-see artists' productions. In an amiable, but hard hitting and
honest way, Alan Shain takes you into the life of a disabled person.
The glimpse he gives you is provocative in its contrasts, gentle
in its delivery and open in the vulnerability which Shain freely
offers. From sharing this hour of his life, the school audience
emerges with faith restored in the human spirit that meets and conquers
great obstacles. Alan is grateful to MASC for providing the opportunity
to perform his important work in schools. Alan performs his play
for high school students and is available to give workshops for
students in grade 4 through to high school.