Two and Twenty Troubles

Two disabled actors (both amputees) restart their careers after a long hiatus.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
45 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Anthony Lopez and Rachel Handler, two disabled actors (both amputees), intend to restart their careers after a long hiatus.

DVDs are available and contain audio described version.
Available on Kanopy

Featured review

A beautifully rendered portrait painted with intimacy and dark humor. Chekov would approve.
- Donna Shepherd
Emmy Award Winner, film editor


Rachel was a promising young actress before surviving a car accident two years ago. Anthony was born with his physical disability and has been taking a break from acting due to a persistent lack of confidence. Both meet each other at the Nicu's Spoon Theater - a company whose mission is to provide opportunities to both disabled and non-disabled actors of various ages, genders, races and cultural backgrounds.


The screening was followed by a lively discussion and a Q&A with two of the film's main subjects. The purpose of this screening was to share the stories of US actors with disabilities, who often face unique challenges in their artistic careers. Through his involvement with SEE, Mr. Ilyukhin helped to elucidate different aspects of the lives of people with disabilities (especially those who are pursuing acting), and broaden the understanding of this issue to all those who participated in the event.
Eurasia Foundation's Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) program
Eurasia Foundation's Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) program
This work is an important glimpse into the nuances of making the performance world more accessible and inclusive. Theatre is about humans, and so needs to include all kinds of humans with all kinds of gifts and needs. This film moves us in the right direction towards greater understanding.
-Eric Kupers
Professor of Dance and Inclusive Performance Chair, CSU East Bay Dept. of Theatre and Dance
The film is about how the director wants to produce a Chekhov play with a handful of disabled and non-disabled actors on the stage of a small New York theatre... Notas charity. But as a good play.
- Krautreporter
- Krautreporter
I knew I had to choose: Let my fear swallow me whole, or turn that page in my life and accept this new chapter.
- Rachel Handler
actress, the film subject
It's not so much because other people are telling you you can't do it. It's because you're telling you you can't do it
- Margaret Baker
model/actress, the film subject

Awards and Screenings

ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival (SEE special screening), NYC, 2017
Focus on Ability Online Film Competition, finalist, Austalia, 2016
National Short Film Competition “Overcoming”, winner, Moscow, Russia, 2016
The International Disabilities Film Festival "Breaking Down Barriers", 2016
Urban Media Makers Film Festival, Atlanta, Georgia, 2016

Director Commentary

I discovered Nicu's Spoon a few years ago, and have long admired their mission of inclusiveness. I started filming their rehearsal process and preparation for a new performance of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”, but very soon the performers’ powerful personal stories of overcoming challenges and breaking social stereotypes became my main interest. I filmed on-the-spot interviews with the actors and also their everyday lives off-stage. I felt honored to document Nicu’s Spoon and their unique atmosphere, and always felt welcomed by the cast members and the staff.

I believe this film will translate the idea of never giving up on a dream, finding a solution in the most difficult situations, and discovering real heroes in kind and compassionate every-day people.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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