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Sunday, November 15, 2009

PHAMALY


Performances are meant to leave an impact, but after seeing the acting group “Phamaly” perform I left with so much more. “Phamaly” stands for Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League. Despite having disabilities, these actors put on a show that rivals any other company in town.
After seeing “Phamaly” put on the show “Urinetown” I saw a story that needed to be told. I went to the audition for their next play “Man of La Mancha,” with my camera so more people could witness the incredible songs they sing, energy they convey and the compassion they show for each other. As I looked around the room I saw people that had lost the ability to see, hear and walk, just to name some of the challenges faced.
The acting group behaves as the name of the group implies, as a family. Cheering and encouraging each other, even when auditioning for the same role, I saw a deaf person escort a blind person onto the stage for his audition. Upon communicating with them, I learned that they are good friends and need nothing but the compassion to help each other connect, succeed and keep living.
After a day of interviews and remarkable performances the premiere couldn’t come soon enough. The play was flawless even with the added challenges all the actors face. Actors helped one another by guiding wheel chairs around stage, or a blind performer to his mark.
After the show I was able to talk again too many of the cast members. The lead in the show, Leonard Barrett, has multiple sclerosis. He told me thank you for sharing the story of ‘Phamaly.’ But really I owed him a thank you for allowing me to share the powerful story of people that even with loosing an ability, will never loose the spark for life.
Pictured is Leonard Barrett, he has multiple sceloris, and played Don Quixote in the play.
***The story can be seen on my website at http://www.carriwilbanks.com/. Click on news segments and select the "PHAMALY" thumbnail.***

2 comments:

  1. saw this article in the denver post. pretty amazing. unique angle you took here really captured the emotion. great job!

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  2. this entry is very inspirational. phamaly seems like a fabulous organization that is working hard by doing what they love. i think that this message is important to get across to our society--thanks for sharing this story, i must see a show by them soon!!

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