Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Disabled actor cast in John Belluso play, "The Poor Itch"

Actor Christopher Thornton has been cast in John Belluso's "The Poor Itch," which opens at the The Public Theater in NY City March 7. Thornton has starred in three other Belluso plays, including the 2005 Off-Broadway debut of "Pyretown," which was written for Thornton, according to

Thornton has been in a number of television shows, including "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Alias." He is also a screenwriter, having sold three scripts to major studios, according to

The disability arts community is pleased to see an actor with a disability receiving the role.
"We are thrilled about the casting of Christopher Thornton in The Poor Itch! It is still the exception to cast a disabled actor in a disability-specific role," said Sharon Jensen, Executive Director of The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. "Doing so here is a wonderful tribute to John Belluso as a disabled artist and activist. Oskar Eustis, Lisa Peterson and The Public Theater have demonstrated remarkable commitment to John's work. They recognize and affirm that the life he created as an artist and the life he lived as an activist were inextricably joined."

"The Poor Itch," which runs from March 7 - March 23, is about Ian, who "is back from the war in Iraq without the use of his legs but with a full-blown case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a year’s supply of Oxycontin. Now, he has to face the person he has become after the war."
The final play by the late playwright John Belluso, its director Lisa Peterson and the designers and actors merged the final drafts of Belluso's script to create "The Poor Itch."
The Public is partnering with the Alliance for the Inclusion in the Arts and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for the play. For tickets, visit