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Friday, September 12, 2008

Theatre Terrific's All Sorts Just One More Triumph For True Comeback Kid! Sept. 10-13!

Mute, blind and in a wheelchair, Chris Kozma was not expected to live after being hit by a car that put him in a coma for three months.

Four years later, Chris is now walking and talking, but with difficulty and he struggles to be understood.

Before the accident Chris was a semi-pro skateboarder and an apprentice in sheet metal work. He can't skateboard now, or participate in his other favourite sports - although last Thursday night not only marked his debut as lead in Theatre Terrific's latest production, it was also the first time Chris attempted to ride a bicycle since the accident.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Chris came in 2007 to check out the company’s Summer Fringe Camp, now in it’s 6th year.

"I loved it. Everyone was so nice, and they understood me."

After seven weeks traveling to Vancouver from Surrey for twice weekly classes, followed by eight performances, Chris and his speech therapist noticed a change.

"I'm more confident now in my speaking. [Also] I don't back down when confronted."
His hard work has paid off, and Chris performs a leading role in All Sorts, this year's newest Fringe festival Production from the inclusive theatre company.

Chris' story is not all that different from the rest of the cast in this diverse troupe of actors, most of whom struggle daily to be understood and respected. His performance in All Sorts as "The Man", an outsider, mirrors his own life in many ways.

All Sorts, which opened last Thursday to a standing-room only house, is a humorous look at alliances and group identity.

All Sorts runs September 10th – 13th at the Vancouver Japanese United Church (Victoria Drive at 23rd Ave).

Our world is full of 'all sorts'.” Artistic Director Susanna Uchatius commented. “All sorts of people with all sorts of hooks, styles, beliefs and identities. Why is there allegiance? When is there dissension? Is there room in our world for 'all sorts'? What would the world be like without the spice of 'all sorts'?”

All Sorts manages to mix it up and boil it down, with lots of hilarity along the way.

Award-winning composer Joel DeStefano, has created a quirky score of jazz, hip hop and new age, to underline the divergent interests of the “Polites” versus the “Anarchists” and the “Happy” people. His enthusiasm for the project shines through: “I love working with Theatre Terrific… the performers are up for anything so I get to try new things.”

The script and concept were created by director Susanna Uchatius, with input from the cast, DeStefano and assistant director Michelle Bruce.

Formed in 1985, Theatre Terrific is Western Canada’s oldest theatre company for people with disabilities, with a mission is to provide inclusive opportunities to transform lives through the power of theatre.

Remaining performances take place September12th and 1 3th at 8:00 pm, with a matinée on September 13th at 2:00 pm. All shows are presented at the Vancouver Japanese United Church, Victoria at E. 23rd Avenue. Tickets are $10 - $12, for advance tickets add $2. A one-time $5 Fringe membership is required and can be purchased at any Fringe performance, or through the Fringe. To order online go to www.vancouverfringe.com. For ticket information call 604.710.7435.

For blogs and background information on the cast and creators, go to www.theatreterrific.ca or call the production publicist, Steve Duncan at 604-788-8340 or email srduncan@shaw.ca.

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