The bell that rings at the outset of Spec. Ed. indicates that longtime teacher Leith Clark is about to tell tales out of school.
Clark, the author of numerous fringe shows, takes his audience inside his special-education classes to meet some of the students who have taught him a few things about life. Wearing a blue T-shirt that reads "SUCKING MY WILL TO LIVE," Clark brashly celebrates these kids with stories that made him laugh or stop in his tracks. There’s the teen who plunked a Labatt’s Lite bottle on the lunchroom table, explaining it was the only thing in the fridge to eat. Or the drama queen with Down syndrome who objects with, "I’m not vegetarian, I’m Ukrainian."
The 35-minute monologue, that came in 10 minutes short of its stated length, is artlessly assembled with most stories connected with a "and-then-there-was" introduction. Nor was Clark, who had many of his students in the opening night audience, at his most comfortable on stage, although his affection for his charges was palpable. He strongly convinced us that their joy for life and blunt honesty was indeed special.
— Kevin Prokosh