Education Corner: Oct 2016 – C.A.S.T.
Greetings from the Education Department!
This fall, we kicked off our 5th year of CAST (Creative Accepting Sensory-friendly Theatre), an acting program for students affected by autism spectrum disorder. On Saturdays, we meet at our partner sight, Main Street School of Performing Arts, for class. CAST has 3 nine week session during the school year, and one mini-holiday session over the winter break. Each session is dedicated to using theatre techniques to teach social skills. The first session is dedicated to the devising process – creating theatre from scratch. We use real life situations: going to school, cleaning your room, walking through the Mall of American, as a starting point. Then, through the power of imagination, we make these very real situations a bit theatrical. Anything is possible! In the second session, we tackle scripted work. Through the use of pre-existing text, students are given the chance to represent someone other than themselves, and plunge into a deep understanding of how to perform from the outside in. The thirds session is all about playwriting. Students explore all aspects of story creation, and create original plays based on their interests. Each session culminates in a public performance for family and friends.
Along with the course work, each session students are able to watch a sensory-friendly performance. Stages Theatre Company produces a sensory-friendly performance for every production of their season. Sensory-friendly performances are designed for children on the autism spectrum, or others with sensory sensitivities. House lights will be on, sound levels will be lowered, and crowds are minimized for these for these judgement-free, “shush-free” performances.
New friends or old, the Education Program is proud to bring theatre and arts education to everyone all over the metro. Every voice, every stage, every day…
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