After a sold-out run in 2020 Jody O’Neill’s What I (Don’t) Know About Autism is finally returning to the stage! O’Neill is one of many parents to autistic children who discovered their own diagnosis in adulthood. However, her story goes far beyond her own background, drawing on the history of neurodiversity and other autistic experiences to create a rich tapestry. Our community is strongly represented not only in the script but in the cast, of which half are autistic themselves. We previously detailed Jody’s writing process, the experiences of her cast and a night which AsIAm staff attended. Excited to hear of the play’s return, AsIAm CEO Adam Harris sat down with Jody to discuss the play. She outlined her writing process, the importance of autism representation and how to make your performance accessible.
But the story is far from complete. While the Covid-19 pandemic delayed WIDKAA’s return, Jody worked behind the scenes to refine and develop her work. Like the original run, all live performances will be relaxed (with the lights up and audiences free to come in or out.) Any loud noises and bright lights will be flagged before they happen. It will also include a post-show discussion. Certain select dates of WIDKAA will feature sign-language interpreted performances This run has also introduced the option of livestream for audience members who are cautious about in-person events. The online version will feature captions and sign-language on demand.
What I (Don’t) Know About Autism will run October 26th-November 20th. In person shows run until November 6th with online performances running until the 20th. Make sure to check the What I (Don’t) Know About Autism content warnings as themes of violence and ableism are discussed in the performance.