Goodman Theatre play Teddy Ferrara highlights struggles of gay, disabled youth

February 17, 2013 7:02:47 AM PST
Bullying and suicide in the gay youth community is an ongoing problem.

This is the theme of' "Teddy Ferrara," a production that also features a character with a physical disability.

Chris Imbrosciano, 28, plays Jay, a gay student in a wheelchair.

"He's very involved in university issues,' said Chris. "He is really sort of always searching for the truth about this incident that happens on campus that sort of sends everyone's life into a tailspin."

Chris, a professional actor, has cerebral palsy.

"It affects my gate. It affects my walking. It's visible in a limp, and that's pretty much it," he said.

Chris has been acting for a number of years.

"They found me through a nonprofit in New York City called Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts that sort of serves as a database for performers with disabilities," said Chris.

"Teddy Ferrara" director Evan Cabnet says playwright Christopher Shinn's goal was to address issues of a group of students dealing with coming of age.

"They become adults as they leave home and involved themselves in university life with different and more complicated -- not problems necessarily -- but challenges to overcome," Evan said.

It was important that the role of Jay be played by an actor with a disability.

"We thought that the authenticity was very important, and the reason is what an actor who has an disability can bring to the role in terms of depth and understanding and personal experience, was something that we felt strongly," Evan said.

"Teddy Ferrara" is playing at Goodman Theatre until March 3. For more information including performances, tickets and accessibility go to