By Team BeatRoute
VANCOUVER – Part of Canada’s 150-year celebration involves commending all Canadians. This government-funded push allowed for RealWheels Theatre — a Vancouver-based professional theatre company whose aim is to give respectful and accurate representations of disability in the public sphere — to create their newest production, Comedy On Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday With Belly Laughs.
The show features a cast that includes members of the disability community. One of Comedy on Wheels’ most anticipated guest stars is comic Tanyalee Davis. Canadian-born Davis is currently based in the UK, but was more than eager to make the journey home to help 16 disabled performers find their funny. At 3’6″ tall and with over 20 years of experience in stand-up, Davis is quite the creative backing to have for a show such as this.
“Lots of these people already have performing experience as disability advocates so it was an easy transition to get them doing open and ballsy comedy,” she says. She adds that the best thing about doing a project like Comedy on Wheels is being able to meet other extraordinary individuals. “I’m disabled myself but I’m always blown away by people in my community and their speaking and performing abilities.”
Comedy on Wheels features at least four performers that identify as stand-up comedians. The remainder of the cast includes actors, storytellers, and speakers doing various lighthearted variety acts that expand on their disabilities. The show is intended for all walks of life, with jokes that share what it’s like to have certain disabilities, but it also isn’t afraid to get a little inside baseball to the disabled audience members as they work through situations like public transit woes.
Davis has never been one to shy away from any performance opportunity — “I was once too short for this one bar stage so they boosted me using toilet paper rolls and plywood,” she divulges — and says that she is excited for the chance to perform in a production where the audience doesn’t continually need to be disarmed from the disability elephant in the room.
Comedy on Wheels: Celebrating Canada’s Birthday With Belly Laughs runs at Performance Works from May 18 – 20.