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Goldmine Inclusive Theatre for Children, Teens, and Adults with Disabilities

Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT)
Year Grant Awarded 2012

Email > info@pacthouse.org
State > CA Zip Code > 92024
Website > http://www.pacthouse.org

Goldmine Inclusive Theatre programs provide high quality theatre training and expression for children, teens, and adults with disabilities. They consist of an approximately 50/50 combination of those with disabilities and their typical peers. The typical peers are volunteers who participate as equals with the group. They play a key role in our success in that our participants with disabilities (mostly autism) are able to follow their lead when they are otherwise unable to understand how to proceed. Our volunteers also model life and social skills that are learned naturally in the camaraderie building environment of the performing arts.

We utilize mostly improvisational theatre, as we have found it to be the least stressful for those with disabilities. Not needing to worry about memorizing lines or blocking, they can discover their inner creativity and share consist of improvisational versions of stories that are familiar to them (in one case a fairy tale/video game combination) and other improvisational activities.

We offer four 8-week cycles of theatre workshops throughout the year to teens and adults. We offer a children’s 8-week theatre workshop series twice each year, in the winter and summer.

We reflect the Puffin Foundation’s mission in that our programs encourage emerging artists in the field of theatre whose works have had difficulty being aired, in this case because of their disabilities, and the social isolation a disability so often creates. Our programs advance progressive social change by giving a creative voice to those who have been excluded from mainstream opportunities.

Our expectation is that developing their theatrical talents while improving vital life skills like self esteem and fitness will help our participants with disabilities succeed in other areas of their lives. Feedback from parents is that their new confidence is transferring into an increased ability to speak and perform in front of peers in other settings.