Theatre presents a powerful performance [UPDATED]Published 8:10am Thursday, April 5, 2012 Updated 12:16pm Thursday, April 5, 2012
I recently read an article in the Huffington Post by Lauren Gunderson titled, “How Theater for Young People Could Save the World.” It’s a short article that makes the point that what we lack in our society is empathy, and live theater is a great way to teach empathy to youth and adults alike.
As Gunderson says, “theater invites us — no, forces us — to empathize.”
I absolutely love this idea and completely agree. I’ve seen it happen here at theater productions at A Center for the Arts and experienced it myself at theater performances that I’ve been to elsewhere as well.
Gunderson goes on to relay what a friend of hers, Bill English from the San Francisco Playhouse, says about live theater’s role in teaching empathy: “It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves.
We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people’s actions. We practice caring.”
April happens to be Autism Awareness Month and the Center is bringing Illusion Theater’s touring production of “Autistic License” here to Fergus Falls on Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m.
When I think about the power of live theater to educate, raise awareness, advocate, motivate social change, and teach us to empathize — it is productions like “Autistic License” that come to mind.
Want to see how theater can save the world? Come see “Autistic License.” I’m really excited that this incredible piece of theater will be here at A Center for the Arts and during Autism Awareness Month as well!
This play, written by Stacey Dinner-Levin, is an autobiographical account of one family’s journey of raising a son with autism.
From the time that her child is diagnosed at age three, “Mom” leads us through the challenges and milestones of living with autism. An omnipresent interviewer acts not so much as a guide, but rather a sounding board, as she moves along this uncharted path. We learn from her experiences, the impact this disability has on her marriage, and family, while witnessing first-hand the best and the worst of people who encounter her son in the outside world.
If you are looking for a live theater performance to attend with your family, this would be it.
Illusion Theater was founded in 1974. Since the beginning, Producing Directors Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris have led Illusion Theater in illuminating the illusions, myths, and realities of our times and in using the power of theater to catalyze personal and social change.
We have had some incredible productions by Illusion Theater here at the Center in the past. Some of you may remember seeing “My Antonia” last winter.
That was an Illusion Theater production.
We have also had theater productions about autism here at the Center previously as well.
Some of you may recall seeing a play called “Theory Of Mind” by the Mixed Blood Theater here last year.
Anyone who attended those performances can attest to the powerful impact they had on the audience.
We hope you’ll consider joining us at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22 for Illusion Theater’s production of “Autistic License.” It’s going to be an incredible show and we know those who attend will be moved by it.
Tickets are on sale now at our Box Office, just $12 in advance for adults, and students are always only $5.
Kristin Fondriest is the executive assistant at A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls.