Report submitted by Mickie Brown
A group from our Out of the Box troupe returned to the Florida Theatre Conference at Santa Fe College in Gainesville on October 25, 2018.
This was the fifth time Out of the Box has been invited to perform on the Santa Fe stage.
October 2013 was the first time The Florida Theatre Conference had ever invited a cast of actors who had developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was such an amazing experience for everyone that witnessed the performance that the Board decided to reach out and invite other special theatre groups in the years to come.
After the performance the actors do a “talk back” where the audience can ask the actors questions and get tips on how to start their own theater group for people with developmental disabilities.
The actors do such an amazing job of answering the questions. You can sense that every answer comes from the heart and that it moves the audience with so many different emotions.
You hear such positive comments coming from the folks in the audience. I overheard one woman say that this was her most favorite performance that she had ever seen. People leave with such a warm fuzzy feeling and a different attitude and the realization that these actors are very capable when given the opportunity to be on a stage where they can just be accepted and to be who they are. It is a life changing experience, truly proves that The Arts are extremely beneficial, and changes lives.
The Out of the Box troupe performed “Ruff Life,” an original one-act play written by Job Dacalos, Om Patel, Mark Adler, & Cooper Ellis. These students wrote this piece last year in their eighth grade creative writing class at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland. Thank you to their teacher, Mr. Steven Jones, for making this wonderful collaboration possible!
Ruff Life was originally performed at the Lakeland Community Theatre as part of the spring performance “I Can Do It” last May. Also a very special thanks to Rebecca Renfroe for sharing her song “I Am The Same As You.” They sang this piece at the end of the performance with very few dry eyes in the house.