What do you get when a born freak, a former beauty queen and an award-winning maverick director tell the true story of Beauty and the Beast?
Mat Fraser, well-known British disabled actor and writer, Julie Atlas Muz, American art star and a Miss Exotic World/Miss Coney Island, and Phelim McDermott, artistic director of Improbable, conspired to make an adult fairytale like no other: a magical sexual journey into real and fabled romance between beastly and beautiful characters.
The British Council partnered with Live Art Development Agency for Access All Areas NYC, a free, day-long event looking at some of the radical approaches to representations of disability being taken by contemporary performance artists, particularly in the UK.
'Access All Areas (NYC Edition)' featured durational performance-installations by UK artists Noemi Lakmaier and Martin O'Brien; live action by Aaron Williamson and Leroy Franklin Moore Jnr.; and provocative debate on the cultural impact of disabled artists by UK and US practitioners including Mat Fraser, Sunaura Taylor, Carrie Sandahl, Sandie Yi,and Amanda Cachia. There were also screenings of UK-based artists, films and performance documentation including work by Bobby Baker, Katherine Araniello, the Disabled-Avant Garde, Brian Lobel, and others; and a bibliotheque of essential books and DVDs drawn from LADA's Study Room.
The NYC Edition grew from Access All Areas, a critically-acclaimed public event and publication produced by the Live Art Development Agency in the UK in 2011 and 2012 as part of 'Restock, Rethink, Reflect Two' on Live Art and Disability. The program came to New York at the invitation of the British Council, to complement Abron's presentation of Improbable Theatre's 'Beauty and the Beast'.