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Actor and writer Tekki Lomnicki was born with dwarfism. But she never let it get in the way of her passion. Though she uses a wheelchair and crutches to help her get around, she’s started a theatre company, writes and performs monologues (she takes her performances all over the U.S. and Canada) and mentors young people. She also performed in the award-winning film The Miracle by Jeffrey Jon Smith.
Tonight, on the MO State campus, she’ll present solo performances based on her personal experiences…
"And I spin them in such a way where they're humorous and yet they're also touching as well. Usually my work has a message at the very end--kind of a lesson," she said.
Lomnicki will present the an introductory monologue as well as the monologues Paper Doll, and Projections. Paper Doll is a story Lomnicki has been telling for many years and is the monologue that’s most about having a disability…
"That Paper Doll piece is a lot about disability and people telling me when growing up, 'oh, you're such a little doll. I could pick you up and put you in my purse' kind of thing. And so that whole piece is based on people's odd remarks to me," she said.
Lomnicki believes in the healing power of storytelling—that by telling personal stories, we’re better able to deal with challenges in our lives.
She hopes people will leave her performances tonight with the knowledge that we’re all alike even though we’re very different…
"You may have a hidden disability that people don't see or you may be insecure about something else and what I hope to do is connect with people through the stories so that people will say, 'yeah, I feel that same way, too,'" she said.
She also hopes those who attend will begin to view other people with disabilities as equals.
Lomnicki began acting in high school and returned to it after college at community theatres in the Chicago area where she grew up. She and two friends started Tellin’ Tales Theatre in 1995 to build community through stories. A program the theatre offers, Six Stories Up, takes six middle school kids—half with disabilities and half without—and pairs them with mentors who help them write personal stories and share them onstage.
Though she works full-time as a writer for a major corporation, she makes time for acting, storytelling and mentoring because she says that’s her passion.
Lomnicki’s performance tonight starts at 7 in the Carrington Hall Auditorium on the MSU campus. Admission is free.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.