Volume 4 | Issue 6, 2020
CADA News and Information!
The Forgotten Dead on PBS
The Forgotten Dead
Tonight on Western Reserve PBS Channels 45/49, Theatre on the Spectrum makes its television debut!

Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.
Repeats Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 1 a.m.; Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 10 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.; Monday, Sept. 14, at midnight; and Saturday, Sept. 26, at 8:30 p.m.
Also airs on Fusion on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 2:30 p.m.

Schneider Park in Akron seems like your typical family-friendly park. What local residents who enjoy the park may not realize, though, is how many bodies—and secrets—are buried beneath their feet.
From the mid-19th to early 20th century, this green space was the cemetery attached to the county poorhouse, which housed elderly and disabled people of that era. To tell this story, a local theater troupe of actors with disabilities reenacts what life would have been like for them back then. THE FORGOTTEN DEAD strives to memorialize those who were marginalized in life, and forgotten in death, by challenging us all to rethink our perceptions of the people all around us living today with disabilities.

The production was created by Josh Gippin of Joshua Tree Productions in collaboration with University of Akron students and Theatre on the Spectrum. This project was made possible by University of Akron’s EXL Center, which partners students with businesses in the community to gain hands-on experience in their fields. Gippin was brought on as a visiting professor for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters and worked with students from the Anthropology Department and School of Communication, plus ZTV students and a few students from the School of Art, School of Music and the Marketing Department. This offered the students a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Premieres September 1, 2020
Thank You GAR Foundation!
GAR Foundation awarded $928,000 in grants to Akron nonprofit organizations at its August grant distribution meeting. This round of funding included matching grants for 10 Knight Arts Challenge projects. 

GAR offered a competitive, limited funding application round this quarter for Knight Arts Challenge winners, granting matching funds to 10 projects. The projects are led by artists and arts organizations and engage and enrich Akron through the arts. Many of the winners focused on projects that uplift the voices of residents of the Black community, LGBTQ+ community, immigrants and refugees, and those with disabilities.

“We often lean upon the arts to bring us comfort, joy, and connection with others,” said Bronlynn Thurman, program officer at GAR Foundation. “This is even more true in light of the challenging times we find ourselves in, both with the public health crisis and civil unrest. Uplifting these projects is a step in rebuilding the vibrancy of our community while supporting the great talent in Akron.”

Our Upcoming Season:

Along the Graveyard Path, a digital serial Oct 2020 - May 2021
Online Murder at the Podcast Mystery - December 5, 2020
One-Act Play Festival - March 5th - 7th, 2021
TBA Spring Production
Registration for Fall Classes is Now Open!

Our Comedy Class is now full, but teens and adults can still sign up for Improv, Beginning Acting, Speak the Speech, and The Writer's Room. We have a few spots left in our Saturday youth classes: All the World's a Stage and Next Stage Transitions Workshop!
All fall classes are $100 for a 10 week class. Registering multiple children? Ask us about our sibling discount!

If you are interested in enrolling your child in one of our classes, please contact us to arrange for a free trial class. We are also available to meet with you on Zoom prior to the first day of class, which can help new students prepare for joining us online.
Free In-Motion Dance and Movement Workshop/Bollywood Dance Workshop with guest artist Bhawna Sudhir

The Center for Applied Drama and Autism is proud to present In Motion: Embracing Skill Display and Performance, and The Art of Bollywood, free virtual workshops taught by Bhawna Sudhir. A proud mother of two children with special needs, Ms. B is the founder and director of Dancing Bells, LLC, a platform to sensitize individuals with different capabilities to express themselves and interact with each other through dance and movement. She holds several certifications from Dance Education Laboratory and Lincoln Center of Performing Arts Education in New York and earlier this year, she completed CADA’s Drama for People with Autism and Disabilities teacher’s training. Bhawna is a practicing teaching artist who creates authentic, interactive and individually-tailored sessions for all ability groups.

The In-Motion Workshop will encourage participants to think and move along with teacher-guided prompts, in order to connect, communicate, and create through movement, dance-making, and visual art expressivity. Saturday, Sept 26 from 3 - 4 pm.

The Art of Bollywood Workshop explores the history of India's dance traditions from temple dance to Bollywood, Saturday, October 17 at 3 pm in Zoom.

The event is free, but capacity is limited to ten individuals, so don’t wait! You won’t want to miss this!

At left above: Bhawna Sudhir
At left below: Bhawna pictured with students (before COVID).

CADA's August Teacher Workshop
Drew Participants From Around The World!
Pictured above: Playing Follow the Leader in Zoom.

Eighteen drama and special ed teachers, theatre professionals and college students from around the US and India too, came together on Zoom for a 15 hour intensive exploration of employing drama for students with autism and all abilities. Topics included teaching physical acting online and in the classroom, designing curriculum for all abilities, with plenty of hands-on practice. Using break-out rooms, the class was divided into smaller groups to play improvisation and theatre games and create performance pieces.

On the final day of the workshop, volunteer students joined for practice classes lead by our teacher participants! We will be holding another workshop over the winter break -- email us at info@centerforada.org to receive notices about upcoming teacher workshops!

Pictured below: Moving in the Space exercise in Zoom.
Pictured above: Breakout group performance of what we call live action "music videos" of The Yellow Submarine.

Pictured below: Another breakout group performance of a live action "music video" to Everybody's a Star!
Theatre on the Spectrum's First Live Zoom Production A Resounding Success!
Above: The audience joined us for a final round of applause at the end of Mario's New Friend!

After three months of rehearsal, Theatre on the Spectrum presented Mario's New Friend, an original script by resident playwright Samir J Hammoud. Smoothly facing the challenges of performing in little boxes on screen, the cast and stage-manager worked together to delight our audiences! We look forward to more live performances this season, including a One Act Play Festival of original plays by autistic and disabled playwrights from around the world. (There's still time to enter a play -- see below!)

Below: Narrator Diddy Kong (Sean Giannetti) from his coconut tree observes Mario (Ruben Ryan) and Piglet (Samir Hammoud) take their driver tests with test administrator Hitmonlee (JT Styles).
Now Seeking Submissions for our One-Act Play Festival!
Accessible Expressions Open Mic!
CADA Staff Spotlight: Wendy Duke
Wendy Duke, co-founder and managing director of The Center for Applied Drama has been creating theatre since a very young age. She remembers playing the Mary Martin/Cyril Ritchard recording of Peter Pan and acting out the entire story. (She preferred playing Captain Hook over the role of Wendy!)

She developed a love of Shakespeare due to her parents purchasing season tickets to the Lakewood Shakespeare Festival. In high school, she attempted to write a new version (in iambic pentameter) of Richard III with Richard as the good guy! Unfortunately no copies of this unfinished work survive! (At left, a picture of Wendy as the Duchess of York in the University of Akron's production of Richard III from March 2020, closed down half way through the run by Covid19.)

Wendy has always had a propensity for gathering people together to instigate some kind of theatre making. In grade school, she wrote and directed a play about Cleopatra. In college, she helped transform the honorary society called Theatre Guild into a producing organization. Post-college, she leaped into a variety of underground improvisational experiments. This background has very much influenced her teaching. She prefers collaborative work over top-down teacher-as-authority structures. Finding ways to give each student the opportunity to shine is a passion for Wendy. She truly believes that "everybody's a star!" Wendy will be co-teaching the Next Stage Transitions Workshop with CADA co-founder Laura Valendza and looks forward to helping more students let their inner light shine out this fall!
CADA Appreciates Your Support!
.5% of your online purchases at Amazon will be donated to the Center for Applied Drama and Autism. All you have to do is click on the link below that takes you directly to CADA's Smile.Amazon site. Smile.Amazon.com has all the same products and services as Amazon's regular page -- the difference is you will be giving a percentage of your purchase to CADA. It's an easy way to support us!
Center for Applied Drama & Autism | (866) 844 - 8327 | info@centerforada.org | centerforada.org

Theatre on the Spectrum is CADA's performance wing. For further information, please visit us at centerforada.org