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Disability monologues show creates community in Butte through sharing personal stories

Let's Talk Disability- Butte!
Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 16:34:38-04

BUTTE — Who doesn’t love a good story—one that can make you laugh, one that can make you cry, or one that can open your mind to a new perspective? Well, right here in Butte at the Montana Tech auditorium you can hear nine of these kinds of stories as people with disabilities share their experiences.

"It started with some disabled women sitting around and telling funny stories. So, this was never a, ‘Oh come see and look how hard our lives are,'" says Barb Knapke, a peer advocate with Ability Montana in Butte.

The "Let’s Talk Disability – Butte" monologues have been talking place for three years now and Knapke, who is this year's assistant director of the production, says the show is about resilience.

"This is a 'Come see how we handle it,' see the humor, see the strength, the resilience, all of that," says Knapke.

The storytelling event has created a community of healing and connection.

"This is an opportunity to really sit and feel your feelings with people that are sharing their vulnerable, loving, true stories," says Cassie Wick, an independent living specialist with Ability Montana in Butte.

The monologues are performed by people from ages 16 to 85 years old, and Wick says the diversity of storytellers allows for new perspectives to emerge, allowing for the audience to connect with a variety of viewpoints.

"The show is for everyone. Disability can happen to anyone at any time, and I think one of the most important things is that people know that when that happens, or if that happens you’re not alone; you have community around you. You have people that understand," says Wick.

"This’ll be an emotional roller coaster ride and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll be laughing, you could be crying and you could get really upset but there’s nothing but feeling going on and incredibly empowering," says Knapke.

The show takes place at 6:30 p.m. on April 19 and costs $10 in the auditorium on the campus of Montana Tech.