They & Them
Who we are
We (Sarah "Sair" Kaufman + Shane Dittmar) are a disabled, non-binary writing team who make musical theatre that is inclusive of and accessible to the disabled community. We met as participants in Roundabout Theatre Company's Reverb Festival, and have been writing together ever since.
Photography by @rebeccajmichelson
What we're up to
The Reality Shaper
Our flagship project is The Reality Shaper: A Musical Podcast, a D&D-inspired fantasy musical that combines epic adventure, queer romance, and moral exploration. By writing a podcast, we are able to create a piece that lifts a lot of the traditional accessibility barriers intrinsic to musical theatre. Within the audio medium, there's nothing blind folks like Shane can't see, and Autistic folks like Sair don't have to risk sensory overload to enjoy it.
Last year, we started posting about the project, and several of the songs went viral, including “The Top Ten Worst Ways to Die” and "The Nonbinary Song," the latter of which has gained nearly a million views across posts. Due to demand, we released our self-produced, proof of concept pilot episode, which we recorded in one week with six of our friends and then sound designed and edited over the course of a few hundred hours. Since its release in August 2022, the podcast has been downloaded over 4500 times, and has gained 1800 subscribers and 200 5-star reviews across Apple Podcasts and Spotify, most of which are from the first week of release.
Sarah "Sair" Kaufman
Sarah Kaufman (they) is an autistic musical theatre writer and performer based in NYC. Their work has gone up at Joe's Pub, the Manhattan School of Music, the York Theatre’s NEO Program, CAP21, the New York Musical Festival, and 54 Below, among others. Bard main and massive nerd, Sarah also writes fantasy novels.
Shane Dittmar (them) is a blind composer, musician, writer, and advocate. As a songwriter, they combine moving and memorable melodies with witty, evocative, and often tongue-in-cheek lyrics that you can't help but sing. Their original musicals, with honest stories about lovable and under-represented characters, have been featured at Roundabout Theatre Company, 54 Below, and in concerts across the country.