23 January 2010


Rockin’ Conception Rolls To Life

By Molly Mulcrone
In the early morning hours of April 18, 2008, there was a 5.2 earthquake that shook Chicagoland. Later that day, I received the first of many phone calls from Tim Wambach that rocked my little world. Mike and Tim had an idea…
“Mike and I want to take our educational outreach talks and turn them into a two-man show that we can take on the road. Mike was thinking it would be kinda like John Leguizamo’s Freak, only with two guys.”
“And on wheels,” I said. “Literally.”
“Yes!” exclaimed Tim.
This is the day Handicap This Productions was conceived. Our mission is to further the cause of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation with educational and entertaining performance art that raises awareness about people born with severe physical handicaps and inspires individuals to achieve their own goals and dreams.
Our flagship project is the self-titled production, Handicap This!, wherein a series of vignettes have been strung together to highlight the incredible relationship between Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach. Mike and Tim are natural entertainers, thus the stage is the best medium to bring their poignant story to life and allow Mike to fulfill one of his many dreams – “to make the crowd go wild!”
Through a collage of moments, messages, and humor, we invite our audiences to see MIKE, not just his wheelchair. We hope our production will allow able-bodied people to see the likenesses between themselves and handicapped people, and it will inspire our audiences to pursue their own dreams, regardless of what obstacles they encounter. Most of all, we’d like to break through the fear that causes people to avert their eyes when they see a handicapped individual. Our goal is to educate the naïve, combat the spread of ignorance, and resurrect the timeless humor-through-adversity that political correctness has surpressed in our society.
Mike Berkson is always the first to make an unabashed joke or seemingly indecent remark about his handicap in a brilliant non-deprecating manner. His brazen attitude has inspired the tone of this docudramedy. What better way to disarm our resistance to what is different and learn to accept ourselves and each other than through the magic of humor?
Inspired by the work of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation, Handicap This Productions embodies the spirit of its mission. While KOKO helps a family expand the doorways in their home to allow for wheelchair access throughout their house, we are expanding Mike’s life doorway so that he can more easily access his dreams. We hope HTP will set the stage for others born with physical handicaps to showcase their talents, see their dreams come to fruition, and inspire them to keep on keeping on.

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