Nicu's Spoon Theater Company
Nicu's Spoon is an inclusion-oriented Off-Off-Broadway theater company in New York City. Its artistic director is Stephanie Barton-Farcas, a NYC director/actress/producer/writer who won the OOBR (Off-Off Broadway Review) award for direction of Suburbia in 2004, the NYU Thom Fluellen Award in 2006 and the 2008 NY Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role for Elizabeth Rex among others. Nicu's Spoon was the first ever fully inclusive company in NYC history. They are also co-founders of the Disability in Cinema Coalition DCC
The company is based on inclusion, so it chooses to work with actors that might otherwise be considered 'marginalized', whether by age, disability, gender, or ethnicity. The company became known from the outset for productions which challenged stereotypes and expectations, and it was the recipient of the 2006 Thom Fluellen Award given by the New York University Community Fund for "excellence in programming for the diverse city of New York". It has also won the 2004 OOBR award and a 2008 Snapple/Mayor of NY City Award, as well as a 2008 NY Innovative Theatre Award.
The company's unusual name stems from a young boy the artistic director met in Romania in the 1990s when working with abandoned children there.
"...[T]he most amazing one was Nicu, who was 5...in diapers and did not walk, talk or feed himself. They told me he was deaf and retarded. Nicu had spent 5 years on his back in a crib. I got angry and said "I'll take him." Six months later he did all those things. He and I fought some big, bad battles together to get him there — to get him to choose life. And in the process he changed my life. Though he was mentally and physically challenged Nicu viewed the world with wonder; he spent hours bouncing sunlight off of a spoon. When he began to eat solid food ... his spoon was everything to him. Nicu’s spoon became the symbol for all the impossible things that were suddenly possible—things like walking, talking, thinking, and living. He was and we lost him 5 years later, in 1996. Nicu’s life was about quality, not quantity — about life’s impossibles becoming possible."
Nicu's Spoon productions have been the original work Displaced; To Kill a Mockingbird; Eric Overmyer's In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe; Nineteen Eighty-Four; Mac Wellman's Murder of Crows; Eric Bogosian's SubUrbia; a play adaptation of Ordinary People by Nancy Gilsenan (from the book by Judith Guest); Elizabeth Egloff's The Swan; a play adaptation of Le Petit Prince by Ric Cummins and John Scoullar; Mark Medoff's Stumps; Gary Henderson's Skin Tight; Ken Duncum's Cherish; Buried Child; Constance Congdon's Tales of the Lost Formicans, Shakespeare's Richard III, and most recently their highly successful run of Elizabeth Rex, which after its run moved to New York's Center Stage in August 2008 for a one-month limited Off-Broadway engagement. In 2013 and 2014 they have been followed for 6 months for a documentary film produced by The School of Visual Arts in NYC, called Two and Twenty Troubles.
In 2015 they produced the 24 cast ensemble piece 'Red Noses' and are now in pre-production for a re-envisioned 'Richard III' where everyone is disabled EXCEPT Richard. In 2017 their artistic director, Stephanie Barton-Farcas will have a book published by Routledge Press, "Disability & Theater: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts."
- Denton, Rochelle. "Darren Fudenske, Buried Child", NYTheater Voices Interview, September 25, 2006, retrieved October 6, 2006
- Barton-Farcas, Stephanie. "Why Aren't you Working with Disabled Artists?", Backstage Magazine" reprinted on ADA site, May, 2006, retrieved October 6, 2006.
- Marmor, Jessica. "Not So Ordinary People", Columbia School of Journalism, November 1, 2004, retrieved October 6, 2006