SALT LAKE CITY — The Not Broken Monologues is one of the virtual productions offered this year by the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival. It covers monologues of people with disabilities talking about their lives and experiences living, as the first performer said, “living in a world that was not built for them.” Because I work with individuals with disabilities, I was perked up from the moment the first monologue started and stayed engaged through the entire show. I also loved how they had an ASL interpreter in the corner and subtitles so the production was very accessible.
Covering many of the different experiences people may have, including mental health diagnoses and physical disabilities (and much more), the show’s message is that none of the speakers’ challenges make them broken. These people also do not want to be seen as a story if inspiration or courage, but just for their intrinsic humanity and worth. Serious emotions and fears from loss of function, loss of life, and stress from sickness are brought to the forefront with every monologue.
This production (written and directed by Ash Goodwin) was very raw, real, and well done. Much like the similarly named Vagina Monologues, the stories were not afraid to touch the topics of inclusion, bias, accessibility, bias, judgment, and the unwillingness of most of society to recognize and work with what is necessary for everyone to have a good quality of life.
The Not Broken Monologues is important viewing for this year’s Fringe Festival. The production is a reminder of the awareness everyone should strive to have and how good art can lead to that awareness.