Explaining how the East End Special Players developed their newest production, Jacqui Leader. the group’s artistic director, said, “We try to work with the actors about what their real feelings are about their lives and what their dreams are.” One of the new members of the troupe, Justin Brown, talked constantly about Disney World, which he has visited often. Another actor, Timmy Motyka, wanted to be a traveling superstar and producer.
“So I took what they were giving me and we developed their characters,” Ms. Leader said. The result is “Whimsey World,” which will premiere at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Saturday.
Timmy and Justin wanted to play brothers, so the plot developed into a road trip propelled by their determination to visit Whimsey World “and seek fame and fortune.” The troupe, which consists of more than 30 adults with developmental disabilities, worked together to expand the basic idea and to create the scenes, the characters, the songs, and much of the dialogue.
The brothers’ slapstick journey, carried out in defiance of their parents, takes them to New York City, a casino in New Jersey, a carnival, and a fortune teller who gives them money and advises them to follow their dreams.
When the brothers, against all odds, finally arrive at Whimsey World, they discover that the president of the park, Mr. Lump (whose name happens to rhyme with a certain real-life political figure), has not only let the park’s infrastructure deteriorate, he also doesn’t want migrants there and tells them to go back to where they came from.
“That is all their doing,” said Ms. Leader. “I had nothing political to say about it.” After a big protest, the brothers get rid of Mr. Lump, save the park, and are elected to run it.
“The wonderful part about the play is the theme, which is to follow your dreams. So what if you have a disability, follow your dreams! The actors all said, ‘We love this play so much, Jacqui, this is the best one yet.’ They all have problems in their lives, and this reassures them they can be positive in the face of adversity and turn it around.”
“Whimsey World” is a benefit performance for the troupe. A reception featuring wine, finger foods, and a silent auction, will begin at 5:30 p.m., the curtain will rise at 6:30, and a live auction will follow the play. Auction items include prints by Ken Robbins and Lewis Zacks, and gift certificates to Tutto il Giorno in Sag Harbor, Guild Hall, the Parrish Art Museum, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and Bay Street Theater.
General admission is $25. V.I.P. seating is available for $75.