The Creation of A Palette of Possibility
Red painted play. Blue painted water. And yellow painted light. So begins the story of the play Palette of Possibility, a theatre-based adventure that embraces best practices for creative engagement and imaginative exploration in inclusive settings for audiences aged four through adult. The piece uniquely spoke to individuals with autism as well as early learners. This discussion will take participants through the creation process of the play, and offer a model for other artists, theaters, and universities to follow suit with their own creation of inclusive theater. Specific topics will include:
- The needs of an audience of youth and adults on the autism spectrum
- The value of providing theatrical experiences for this population
- Considerations when serving audiences with special needs from all points of view: as actors, facilitators, production teams, front of house, and marketing
- Suggested exercises and tools for content creation, which the facilitators will lead for workshop participants.
In addition, Palette of Possibility is a model for collaboration among three distinct organizations in order to create a shared arts experiences for the diverse populations they serve. By journey’s end, Palette will have combined the fiscal resources and creative efforts of a professional youth theatre, a community based arts organization and a state university. The project will perform in two states, in more than 13 venues, featuring 82 performances; and reaching over 3,765 audience members.
The Ideal Participant
This session is geared towards artists (at youth theaters, community theaters, schools, etc.) wishing to find and follow a path that will allow them to create and perform an original devised theatre production specifically intended for audience of youth on the autism spectrum – a play with an emphasis on being sensory friendly, interactive, participatory, highly visual, low language, and movement based.
Additionally, administrators or programmers nervous about undertaking the creation of a devised theater piece for students with autism will benefit from seeing the applicability of their current practices to the endeavor. The workshop will hopefully embolden other theater makers to undertake their own projects for this audience.