Meet Carl. Carl McIntyre, a native of Charlotte, N.C., was a teacher and actor prior to suffering a massive stroke at the age of 44, resulting in aphasia. His challenges and struggles are chronicled in the short film and docudrama, "Aphasia," which will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre on Wednesday, April 10. Admission is free.

"Aphasia" was written, produced, and directed by first-time filmmaker Jim Gloster, a good friend of McIntyre, who was inspired by his struggle and optimism to overcome seemingly impossible odds. An acquired communication disorder, those living with aphasia struggle as their language processing ability is impaired while their intelligence remains unaffected. Carl lost the ability to read, write, and talk; in summary, the very skills his acting career depended on most. 

Part autobiographical, part fiction, the film documents McIntyre's attempts to reshape his life, dispels myths, and raises awareness of a disorder that remains largely unknown to many, despite that more than a million Americans suffer from aphasia.

This comedic, informative, and insightful moive is sure to connect to audiences. The film and its star often travel the country and world as part of “Hope is a Four Letter Word," an hour long presentation by McIntyre, who travels to various medical conferences to discuss his condition and share inspirational antidotes with his audiences. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with an audience "talk-back" session held afterward. This event is part of the ReelAbilities Virginia Disabilities Film Festival, produced by the Weinstein JCC and Special Olympics of Virginia, which presents award-winning films, performing arts events, programs, and discussions that bring the community together to explore and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. 

The screening is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, the Department of Theatre and Cinema, and the Lyric Theatre.

Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Form lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squire parking garage or the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.

Written by Carla Segurola.
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