Touretteshero rocks and rolls

Boom Arts hosts a hilarious, stereotype-busting comedian, who joins with Portland disability artists. One last show Saturday night: act now.

This Saturday night, May 12, is the last performance at Southeast Portland’s Echo Theatre of STAND UP, SIT DOWN, ROLL OVER by Touretteshero, a.k.a. Jess Thom – a wickedly smart, scathingly funny comedian from Great Britain. Presented by Boom Arts in a series of performances focused on disability, access and inclusion, Touretteshero’s brilliant performance invites us to rethink our stereotypes of neurological conditions and explores what it means to live with disabilities of all kinds in an environment ignorant at best and hostile at worst to many forms of diversity. You will laugh so hard that there is no time for the tears brimming beneath the surface, tears from realizing the extent of harm caused by prejudice and ableism.

Last night the boundary-breaking folks from Wobbly Dance, who showed their film Waking the Green Sound, and documentary filmmaker Cheryl Green were in attendance as well and provided valuable insights during the post-show discussion. Tonight will showcase another artist tackling forms of illness or disability: Little Clown Big Shoes, plus Lara Klingeman and her show Lara and Levi. I cannot wait to go and see the show.


Here are details on Saturday night’s final performance:


Touretteshero (United Kingdom)

May 12 at 7:30pm
Echo Theater, 1515 S.E. 37th Ave., Portland


  • All events are “Relaxed”: move or make sound as you need to
  • Wheelchair-accessible venue
  • ASL interpretation provided
  • Scent-free: we request that those attending refrain from using scented body care products
  • Boom Arts, Echo Theater, and Disability Art & Culture Project are committed to creating fully inclusive environments for all attendees. Please contact the Boom Arts team with any additional requests at

And here’s a photo gallery from Friday night’s Touretteshero performance and discussions afterwards:


“Touretteshero” Jess Thom in “Stand Up, Sit Down, Roll Over” Friday night at Boom Arts. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Thom, rolling over. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Photo: Friderike Heuer

Yulia Arakelyan (right) and Erik Ferguson of Portland’s Wobbly Dance talking with Boom Arts’ Ruth J. Wikler-Luker (right) in conversation Friday night. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Lily, Jess Thom’s personal assistant, watching and making sketches. Photo: Friderike Heuer

In conversation, from left: Documentary filmmaker Cheryl Green, Wobbly Dance’s Grant Miller, Jess Thom, with ASL interpreted Dot Hearn in back. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Yulia Arakelyan of Wobbly Dance. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Erik Ferguson of Wobbly Dance. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Grant Miller of Wobbly Dance. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Ruth J. Wikler-Luker (left) with Dot Hearn, the evening’s ASL interpreter. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Filmmaker Cheryl Green, with her new, cat-covered iPhone case. Photo: Friderike Heuer

Little Clown Big Shoes’ Anna Sell, who will appear in Touretteshero’s final Portland show on Saturday night. Cathy Restivo Photography



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