Theatre Adventure Program
“We have a story for you, listen, listen, listen…” so begins our Story Circle. Theatre Adventure Program (TAP) is a theatre arts class for children, youth, and adults with disabilities and welcomes a smaller number of their typically developing peers. TAP is a program offering of New England Youth Theatre. TAP was first created as a one-week summer camp during the summer of 2004. We are now a year-round program with twelve-week semesters both in the fall and in the spring. We have intentionally created a majority group of individuals with disabilities and a minority group of individuals who are typically developing in our unique model of inclusion. TAP students range in age from seven to adult. Some of the participants use wheel chairs for mobility. Many of them use recording devices or small computers to support their communication skills. Communication and support are essential elements to the success of Theatre Adventure Program.
TAP staff includes: a Director, a Disabilities Specialist, and two Assistant Teachers. Each semester two or three youth or young adults participate as Mentors, who model and assist the other members of our theatre troupes. Most troupe members with disabilities attend with a caregiver, who helps engage and guide the actors.
The actors engage a variety of theatre arts experiences: warm-up exercises, improvisation, singing, creative movement, pantomime, costumes, percussion instruments, and story development. We invite the participant’s interests and ideas to help shape our curriculum. We perform as the Theatre Adventure Troupe and during this past year presented, “Snow White” and “The Best of Peter Pan.” Our performances are informal, and yet a wonderful opportunity for troupe members to share their work from the semester.
- To provide a supportive, creative drama experience for individuals with disabilities.
- To enroll a few troupe members, whom are typically developing, in order to provide some modeling for the actors with disabilities, while also creating opportunities for inclusion for all of the actors.
- To draw on the participant's talents and strengths through creative expression.
- To offer a positive social experience in which a trusting and nurturing group climate is established.
- To offer a year-round educational program that provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their theatre arts skills from previous semesters.
Theatre Adventure Program is funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Children's Trust Fund - Child Development Division.