MAKING MY PROGRAM AS ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE
It’s no secret that in recent years professional theater companies are (finally) starting to make an effort to make their shows and theatre spaces accessible. But what does that mean for theater in educational settings? And what is “access” anyway? Come discuss concerns and share solutions to making your class and your productions inviting and inclusive to ALL students, including those with disabilities so that you can indeed stage the change both in the audience and on the stage.
Lisa Dennett is the founder/director of Interactive Drama for Education and Awareness in the Schools (I.D.E.A.S.) She earned a specialized Masters degree from New York University, using drama for people with disabilities. She is founding co-chair of the Arts in Special Education Consortium and a current member of the Steering Committee. Ms. Dennett is also a past NYC chapter president of the NY State Theater Education Association, has worked as a consultant with VSArts in Washington, DC and is a nationally certified Sign Language Interpreter. In recent years she has refocused back to performing as an actress and singer and has been performing steadily. www.LisaDennett.com
I.D.E.A.S. – Interactive Drama for Education and Awareness in the Schools - serves youth with disabilities as well as other disadvantages, ages 5-21. They do this with Creative Drama and Sociodrama residencies which focus on the individual and take place at partner sites: schools, libraries, community centers, group homes, etc. Activities emphasize respect and cooperation and are a catalyst for personal growth, development and learning. We aim to provide an avenue where students can exercise creativity, self-expression, and risk-taking while learning about themselves and others. We also have workshops for adults. I.D.E.A.S. was recognized in 2011 by the NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities for using drama as a teaching and learning tool with students with disabilities. www.IDEASdrama.org