Performing Arts

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.

October 28, 2020

Meredith Aleigha Wells - Actor/Singer Who Is Dysfunctioning Just Fine in Her Wheelchair

In honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month, Meredith Aleigha Wells joins the podcast to share her struggles and challenges onstage and in life all from the vantage point of a wheelchair. After becoming disabled at the age of 19, Meredith performed in a college workshop production of the new musical Donny Johns, making UMass Amherst history as the first actor who uses a wheelchair to perform in a Mainstage production.

Meredith graduated with a Bachelor's Degree with Individualized Concentration in Musical Theatre. Immediately after graduation, Meredith moved to Cleveland, Ohio to dance with Dancing Wheels, a physically integrated touring repertory company.

In this episode, she opens up about the hard-fought lessons she has been through and how much more there is learn, both in herself and for others.

Topics discussed in this episode:
 - Mayo Clinic Physician Philip Fischer, MD 
 - 10 Facts about POTS 
 - Dancing Wheels Company founder Mary Verdi-Fletcher 
 - What does the 30th anniversary of the ADA mean to youth with disabilities? - Youth Today 
 - Able-Bodied Actors Play 95% of Disabled Characters - Variety 
 - Ali Stroker's Tony Award acceptance speech 

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