An Update From L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre: A New Disability Inclusive Theatre Opens in Washington

Here is a revised Press Release from L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre:

L’enfant Rebelle Theatre
October 3rd, 2015 Press Release


After October 1st opening, L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre is working to grow stronger and smarter.

The team at L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre has been overwhelmed by the support being shown by the District’s professional theatre community and their endorsement of our mission.

We have been notified in the past few days of some helpful information that will allow us an opportunity to better clarify our mission and services.

During the development and formation of L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre, we did research into the field of inclusive and integrated theatre in Washington D.C. Among our findings, we came across Open Circle Theatre based out of Maryland. We were excited to see a like-minded company in the area and hoped to one day be at the same producing level as them.

Throughout our initial campaign, we had hoped to brand ourselves as a unique mission in the District proper, but never attempt to diminish or undermine the work already performed.

We admire the work and success of the beautiful organizations that paved the way before us. We honor these traditions and aspire to create additional opportunities for this community to engage themselves in. It is our understanding that we are working towards the same mission, that is- to make different, beautiful.

L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre has been in contact with Open Circle Theatre and we have not only apologized for the confusion, but also have extended an opportunity to collaborate in the future. We are excited to announce that LRT and OCT have worked through this dispute and have begun a dialogue in which we hope to move forward side by side, working for the same goal.

L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre is growing stronger and smarter every day, and we have taken this opportunity to learn and forge ahead. We encourage our supporters and patrons to continue to notify us of any additions or amendments we could make to ensure that we are the best company we can be and one that meets the needs of this community.

For more information on the theatre or to dialogue with a member of our team with suggestions, please feel free to email us at [email protected]

L.J. Whalen
[email protected]


This is a revised press release: 

L’enfant Rebelle Theatre

October 3st, 2015 Press Release Revision


h6dYRfXt_400x400New disability inclusive theatre, L’Enfant Rebelle, opens in Washington, D.C.

 Washington, D.C. – October 3, 2015- L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre opened its doors to the media on October 1st, revealing a unique mission already in the making.

Founder and Executive Artistic Director L.J. Whalen.
Founder and Executive Artistic Director L.J. Whalen.

The new disability inclusive non-profit theatre company released an official website and video advertisement today to launch the start of their media and fundraising campaign. The professional theatre, which has been in development since early 2012, shared that new art is expected to be seen in the District’s theatre community, with previews of their inaugural season beginning as early as December.

Under the direction of founder and Executive Artistic Director, L.J. Whalen, the theatre company is the newest of its kind in the District’s professional theatre scene.


Open Circle Theatre which has been on hiatus since early 2013, was the first disability integrated theatre in the metropolitan area, paving the way for artists, patrons, crew, and arts administrators at all points in life.

Open Circle Theatre's Suzanne Richard.
Open Circle Theatre’s Suzanne Richard.

L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre and Open Circle Theatre have dialogue regarding the possibility of collaborating in the future, but no official statement has been made by either companies.

“All too often, new theatre companies strive too hard to simply be ‘different.’ This company, although new, doesn’t aim for difference, but rather the beauty found among our differences.” Whalen says.

“Our mission is not to further separate actors with disabilities from professional theatre, but rather to seamlessly include them alongside D.C.’s finest actors, developing a new spin on original and classic productions.”

The company anticipates releasing season selections and locations as early as the January 1st 2016

L’Enfant Rebelle Theatre, L.J. Whalen, [email protected]


Tribute to Open Circle Theatre:

[Editor’s Note: Suzanne Richard’s Open Circle Theatre produced many wonderful productions and has been on hiatus and hopefully will be producing again soon. On their website, they describe their mission as:

“Open Circle Theatre is a place where artists with and without disabilities can be mentored, receive training, and have the opportunity to reach their professional potential. Open Circle Theatre utilizes the considerable talents of artists with disabilities to create professional theatrical productions and to provide outreach and educational programs that serve to expand the cultural and vocational opportunities for the residents of the Washington, DC community, with particular attention to people with disabilities.

Our Vision
As a vibrant participant in the Washington, DC theater community community, and as a national leader in promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the Arts, Open Circle Theatre’s influence is significant in advancing the full integration of people with disabilities into both the theater and general communities.

We operate on the premise that disability can enhance the artistic experience and inspire aesthetic innovation. Limitations exist in the mind, and through the arts, we strive to remove those limits.”

Thank you Susan and welcome L.J..


  1. Thank you so much for all of your comments and concerns. Being a young company, we are constantly looking to grow stronger AND smarter. These notifications have been brought to our team and we have worked to resolve all of your concerns.

    Suzanne Richards and myself have dialogued and wish to communicate that there is no doubt that OCT was not only an original concept here in DC, but also a staple for many years in the arts community. We have talked through this confusion are beyond excited to work through this and create amazing theatre, the both of us.

    I admire the work of OCT and Ms. Richards and am currently developing opportunities for us to collaborate, if not in the theatre, then in the advocacy around our great city.

    The lack of captioning was a technical error which has since been fixed. Suzanne has extended an opportunity to work to better LRT’s A/V skills online and are hoping to add audio description to our videos very soon.

    Our website is undergoing major reworks to create the most accessible and enjoyable experience for all patrons. In terms of our services offered in-house, we look forward to inviting all patrons at all points in life to experience theatre fully and we will go to all ends to see that happen.


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