The Power of Theater

by Chris Heagle, technical director

This snapshot of a performance report from Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis has been floating around my Facebook feed. Created by the stage manager following every performance, it’s usually a pretty mundane document — a basic communication tool for people working on the current production to let everyone else in the company know how the show is going. This one, though, is remarkable and speaks to the power of art and story to reach beyond the edifice of our everyday. It reads:

"It was generally agreed by all that the show was ‘kind of rough’ (tech wise). But after the show we learned that there was a 5 year old autistic child in the house. He had never spoken. But as the lights went down, he began to talk. In full sentences. He called the teacher by name. She had no idea he even knew her name. He was engaged in the show — at one point commenting to the teacher that if there is a dragon then there will be fire. And there was fire. He talked all throughout the show. When the lights came back up — he quit talking and returned to his world. So, yes, I could list all the little things that wrong today but that is not what this show is about. And that little boy certainly didn’t see those things as he sat talking in the dark theatre watching Harold and his Purple Crayon."

And of course, I couldn’t help think of our interview with Paul Collins and Jennifer Elder in "Autism and Humanity."

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  1. w1ld-roses reblogged this from fallinlove-falltopieces
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  3. alabasterandchrome reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    I almost cried…
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  8. yesiamloved reblogged this from storyofeden and added:
    As a teacher, I MUST reblog this.
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  14. thewhole-hearted reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    If you find this interesting, check out the NPR On Being interview with Paul Collins and Jennifer Elder in “Autism and...
  15. arnold-broenberg reblogged this from beingblog
  16. half-formed-things reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    This is great. (Little) Surprises like these are what we live for, what we hope to have. (The interview was great too.)...
  17. lostandfoundliz reblogged this from beingblog and added:
    Cool story!
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