MAKING ART PART OF THE PUZZLE SINCE 2012.
WHO: Any child ages 7-17 who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and would like to make new friends, explore deeper levels of communication and self expression, and creatively work on social skills.
WHAT: CAST is an educational program by Stages Theatre Company dedicated to creating a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment for children affected by autism. Our goal is to foster self-expression, social engagement, creative exploration, perception development, and confidence in each of our students, no matter where they land on the spectrum. Stages Theatre Company is ASD certified through Autism Society of Minnesota.”
WHY: The benefits of theatre are incredibly compatible to the deficits of autism. Theatre can do for a child with autism what it does for any child. It helps them to grow in confidence and socialization. It helps them develop a sense of themselves and an awareness of others around them. It gives them a voice and the power to stand up in front of people to use it. These are skills that any child can use as they navigate their lives. For children on the spectrum, the additional guidance and opportunity to work through social and public situations is a great supplement to their development, and in turn, their personal success.
HOW: CAST uses improvisational theatre games as its core to build relationships, build creativity, develop social skills, and find a sense of self in space. Each session, students will practice being excellent audience members at a Stages Theatre Company production, giving them the opportunity to see how professional theatre works. Additionally, students will make strides in communication with their peers. They will take ownership of the creative process by celebrating and emphasizing their individuality. At the end of each session students will share their original work, created collaboratively, in a performance for an invited audience of family and friends.