Under the cover of darkness, Myles Taylor takes his place on stage for the opening scene of Brad Fraser’s black comedy, Kill Me Now. This is his first professional theatre gig and Myles is both excited and nervous.
“It’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” admits Myles. “But it was fun to take all the work of putting together such a wonderful play and getting it up on its feet and finally feel like it had become a living, breathing thing.”
In the play, the young actor plays Joey, a teenager with a severe physical disability cared for by his widower father. Myles, who has cerebral palsy, can relate to many of the challenges Joey faces.
“There’s an authenticity for someone like me to bring to the role that an able-bodied person can’t bring,” Myles says. “But disabled actors shouldn’t be passed over for the opportunity to read for any part and I shouldn’t be hired just to meet a diversity expectation.”
NAC English Theatre Artistic Director, Jillian Keiley agrees. “Over the past year NAC English Theatre has been deeply engaged with the question of presenting disability on stage. Myles has lived the experience of disability and he is also unquestionably one of the finest young actors I’ve seen in Canada over the past several years.”
In turn, Myles says it was a “tremendous honour and opportunity” to perform at the NAC. He’s thankful to donors who support English Theatre and help bring important works like Kill Me Now to Canada’s stage. “I’m grateful there are people who give so that artists like me can do what we do to put on good shows that are entertaining and thought-provoking,” he says.