Behind the Blue Door Awaits a Heartwarming Experience

By Valerie Summers

The first theater of its kind, the Blue Door is dedicated to artists of all backgrounds and abilities which include those with disabilities, military veterans and underserved youth.  A talented young woman named Ali Stoker serves as an inspiration for disabled men and women with her recent win as Best Featured Actress in a Musical at the 2019 Tonys despite the fact that that she is wheelchair bound. The opening of a new play, Point of Extinction, at the new Blue Door theater tucked away on Venice Boulevard in Culver City features a group of 13 blind actors, of varying degrees of acting ability, who were brave enough to take to the stage, telling a story into the future but relatable in the present. The show challenges conventional expectations about the capabilities of individuals who live without sight, struggle with movement or have difficulty understanding the complexities of social interactions.

Point of Extinction takes place 100 years into the future after a super volcano has destroyed more than 1/3 of the Earth’s population with the fallout rendering many of the survivors disabled.  With resources running low, the U.S. President devises an evil scheme that will rid the country of many of these citizens, but all is not lost when those with a conscience change direction.

The show is enhanced by Rex and Friends, a very talented musical group, featuring original music and song.  Rex Lewis-Clack, a handsome young man in his early 20s was born blind and diagnosed with autism but was labeled a musical genius at age 7.  He ranks as one of less than 50 people in history to combine blindness, intellectual disability and prodigious musical ability.  He has shared his unique life and extraordinary musical gifts as a keyboard genius and singer with audiences across the globe as a keynote performer and advocate for his cause.  The gifted performers in his group clearly display the power of music to transcend any disability.

Obviously passionate about the music she creates for Rex and Friends, Laurie Grant, Musical Director, Composer and Lyricist began working with the group in 2013.  She was instrumental in co-producing two sold out highly regarded shows featuring an entire cast of musicians and actors with disabilities.  She has enjoyed a successful career as a music educator, working with people of all ages and abilities in piano, theory, composition and songwriting and has written songs and music for several popular TV shows and films.

Director Greg Shane, the co-founder and Artistic Director of CRE (Create Reflect Empower), has taught all over the world and has created theater programs with various populations including prisoners, mentally challenged individuals and the homeless.  He has directed 20 productions with Theatre by the Blind and staged several productions through CRE Outreach’s blind youth and teen programs. Blind in one eye, Shane sees each performance as a vehicle to educate the public about the capabilities of the blind and increase resources for differently-abled individuals.

Co-playwriter and Magna Cum Laude graduate Cosette Ruesga uses her talents to explore the theatre as an instrument for building healthy communities and individuals. Co-playwriter David Shectar was selected as one of the 2019 Writers Guild TV Writer Access Project Honorees.

Playing through July 7


The Blue Door

9617 Venice Bl.

Culver City