RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Anna Marr is a bi-coastal writer, comedian, and actor based in Los Angeles. Originally from the Midwest, she graduated from Northwestern University with a focus in Playwriting and Theatre for Young Audiences.
As a comedian and trained advocate with narcolepsy with cataplexy and chronic migraines, Anna uses humor to shatter stigma around sleep, laziness, and disability. Her award-winning short (producer/writer/actor), Walking through Peanut Butter, a dark comedy based on her own experiences navigating the comedy scene of the city that never sleeps while living with narcolepsy, has been selected for the 2020 Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival and LA Women in Film Festival. She’s currently developing it into a digital series.
A proud company member of the Story Pirates, who adapts kids’ stories into musical sketch comedy, she’s performed on their iHeartRadio- and Webby-award-winning podcast and consulted on their first sensory friendly performances on both coasts. An Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB)-trained improviser/musical improviser, she’s performed comedy all over NYC and in festivals on the East Coast.
In summer 2020, she created Project Sleep’s popular IGTV series Healthcare Professionals with Narcolepsy. She also writes regularly for Vulture.
At Northwestern, Anna co-created a student theatre group, now Seesaw Theatre, that creates immersive, multi-sensory theater specifically designed for audiences with autism and other developmental disabilities. In 2014, she co-founded and served as the founding Communications Director for Bluelaces Theatre Company, a New York City non-profit with the same mission. Bluelaces was part of Lincoln Center’s 2019-2020 season.
Her acting has been featured on television, online (Elite Daily, Allure), in multiple official film festival selections, and at theaters such as Joe’s Pub and the Signature Theatre.
After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.
This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:
- Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
- Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
- Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS