Katie Mann
November 14, 2017
The cast of Addy and Uno.

On September 16th, I had the privilege to see Addy and Uno at The Theater at the 14th Street Y in New York City! It was an honor to be in the audience and witness the children around me learn from this heartfelt, informative new show.

The older I become and the more theatre I see, the more I realize just how impactful the Arts are on our society. What better vessel is there to teach and lead other than the Arts? The hard taught, invaluable lessons the Arts teach us are buffered by music, characters, and the story they’re telling; and if the Art in question does it right, we all leave better for it.

Alex with her favorite character, Uno.

Addy and Uno accomplishes the multi-faceted task of shedding light on children’s disabilities. They tackle ADHD, Autism, Paraplegia, and visual/hearing impairment with grace, heart, and laughter. I was particularly drawn to the character (and the actor!) playing Uno. Uno has Autism and has to work harder than others to make eye contact. He has anxiety and becomes easily overwhelmed and overstimulated. But Uno goes on to help win the school math competition with his special gifts for numbers and equations – and befriends (and changes!) the school bullies on the way.

It was very impactful to see these beautiful puppets maneuver school and friendship with their unique and special disabilities. If we intend to believe that Art is a reflection of our humanity (and how could we not?) we must therefore continuously make the effort to reflect back everyone’s stories – including Addy and Uno’s.

Watching a production where people are shining a light on disabilities is beautiful! But it was surpassed by sitting in an audience full of children who shared the same stories as those on stage – outbursts of joy, excitement, confusion, and nerves were welcomed, wheelchairs sat front row center and the actors sailed through any and all interruptions with ease. Those kiddos left championed and I left changed!

I’m so thankful I got to experience such a play. If you get a chance, go see Addy and Uno, now playing at Theatre Row in Midtown Manhattan at 410 W 42nd Street!

 

Alexandra Zorn is a New York City based actress and voice teacher. She has appeared in numerous productions in and around New York, including: The 1st National Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Far From the Madding Crowd, Roman Holiday, Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, Shakespeare in Love, Les Miserables, and West Side Story, among others. Numerous NYC workshops and concerts. Alexandra is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.