“It Can’t All Be Male, Straight, Middle Class, and White and Able-Bodied”

2010s Accessibility Artists Performance

The MCA Stage program has made a great effort to diversify its programming and its audiences. Performers Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz take notice.

The MCA has really financially assisted us in producing Beauty and the Beast, an inclusive piece of disability arts in the theater here, and the audiences are 10 percent disabled. When does that normally happen? I mean the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You put the money into the work, and you get the reward of an expanded audience. And I think expansion of audiences is really important in the arts world. It can’t all be male, straight, middle class, and white and able-bodied. Art isn’t just for those people; it is for everybody. And the MCA’s investment and trust in our work has produced a huge expansion of that. It's got to be the way forward.

Without a more diverse programming you will not have a more diverse audience. So you have to really keep it up, I think. I think that MCA is great. I feel like they’re very forward-thinking. I think Peter Taub is a very forward-thinking man, and he’s the one who curated us. So we’re forever grateful to him. He’s really the first American outside of New York that took this show on and took a risk bringing us here. We’re super, super grateful. And Yolanda has been wonderful. The amount of enthusiasm that we have received from them, we just mirror right back. We’re very happy here at the MCA. I never want to leave. It’s a beautiful space with really great people who work here and so, we’re super-super grateful.

Related Stories