How Theatre Can Change the Lives of People With Disabilities
My name is Kim Henry and I am the Director of Theatre for All, Wilmington, North Carolina’s only theatre company for people with disabilities. Theatre for All believes in the power of theatre to create positive change within underserved communities and that everyone deserves access to the arts.
We began in 2015 with one official theatre company comprised of eight members as well as one outreach program at Laney High School. Currently, we have two official companies who rehearse weekly and perform original shows twice a year to a public audience. Our outreach program serves approximately 80 disabled students a week who would otherwise have little to no access to the arts.
Every TFA class holds magic moments and breakthroughs as our members discover how the arts can take them beyond their labels.
In 2018, I also designed a Leadership Training Program to train TFA’s most experienced students to become TFA Teaching Assistants. This exciting vocational rehabilitation branch of TFA aims to provide meaningful employment for trained TFA members and has led to TFA recently becoming an official VR vendor for North Carolina.
It is our dream that every school in America has a TFA program so that all people can experience the uplifting power of the arts.
As the largest minority in America, the disability communities are among the most susceptible community to experience depression, isolation and consider suicide. I think our story would be inspiring to many!
For more information, check out the Theatre For All website.