About Adaptive Arts
When we began this company, Autism-friendly theater performances were still a relatively new concept. In fact, our production of Brecht's Good Woman of Setzuan was the first show in the country to be adapted for adults with Autism. For the past five years, we have continued our mission to raise awareness of disability through theater.
Over the past two years, we created an original, devised production of Goethe's Faust with an incredible team of core artists. We delved into the story of Dr. Faust, who struggles to build relationships with those around him and turns to the devil to achieve greatness. Beyond Faust, we partnered with the YMCA/YMHA of Washington Heights/Inwood to bring a workshop of the TYA play Invisibility, or Tiny Rockets by Lauren Ferebee to their site coupled with an Professional Development. In this PD, we worked with educators and artists to provide tools for opening up a dialogue about and awareness of different needs within their classrooms and theaters. This past Spring, we hosted "I Don't Belong Here" a workshop event showcasing 25 stories from self-proclaimed outsiders. The evening, which included many short plays focusing on characters with invisible disabilities, paved the way for an incredible community feeling as we opened up a dialogue on feeling outside of the norm.
Through our educational outreach program, we have spoken around the country on ways to create accessible theater spaces. We are frequent guests at City College of New York's panel on "Inclusivity and the Arts," speaking to the disparity of arts offerings for students with disabilities and accessible theater companies and spaces. We have hosted multiple educational workshops for artists and educators and have gone into schools to advocate for best practices for students with disabilities using the arts, all free of charge. This year, we partnered with a performing arts high school in Connecticut to introduce inclusive arts to their students through a series of workshops.
Since our inception, we have partnered with 10 theater and cultural organizations here in New York. Between our main productions and new works programs, we have had over 100 artists involved in our programming and and served hundreds of audience members and students, from 2-95 years old!
We are thrilled to launch The Openness Project, a new program focused on starting a dialogue about Invisible Disabilities through a theatrical lens.
Emily Hartford, Alex Engquist
and Gabby Sherba in Faust
A candid shot from our post-show workshop
at the YMCA/YMHA of Washington Heights/Inwood