Special Needs Programs "Focusing on Abilities not Disabilities"
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
Adaptive Theater Camps held at the Academy of Whole Learning
9400 Cedar Lake Rd. St. Louis Park
Lights! Camera!! Action!!!
Step into the spotlight and come shine on stage! If you've been bit by the acting bug come join us for an exciting adventure in theater. Young actors of all skill levels are welcome, all you need is a little curiosity and a love for performing and having fun! Our campers will enjoy learning about acting, dance, voice & speech, stage presence, comedy, improvisation, art activities and much more. Coupled with the guidance of our teachers, the curriculum fosters a "creative state" with which students are empowered to realize their personal and artistic potential.
Camp is great for building self-esteem, confidence, communication skills, social skills, etc. Our teachers are specialists in their fields and have extensive experience working with children. Many of our teachers work professionally in theater, film and television and/or have their degrees in their respective fields.
July 10-14 grades 2-12 12:30-3pm
July 17-21 " 12:30-3pm
*children should bring a snack and beverage to camp each day.
Tuition per week $450
or $800 for both
Consumer Support Grants or waivers welcome
Tuitions are non refundable - .05% fee cc processing
(Autism Consultant, Speech Language Pathologist on Staff-Jill Kuzma)
Through improvisation games and creative play, students will develop flexible thinking and valuable social skills. Actors learn to collaborate and share ideas as they participate in lively theatre games in an environment that celebrates their unique talents, creativity and interests.
Activities involve imaginative situations that require students to use their voices and bodies to play characters individually while interacting with fellow students. Students play more cooperatively with others; more readily accept others’ differences and mistakes; become better able to take turns and more flexible when needed. Costumes/Props are used in our programs.
Some of the benefits of our Performing Arts Classes
Builds self-confidence not only in performing, but in interactions
improved self-esteem; pride in their accomplishments
improved recognition of emotions in others
improved identification and labeling of own emotions
new leisure time activity in a group where they can be successful
new awareness of volume levels and beginning modulation of level
new skills for functioning as part of a group
new skills for following directions
improved ability to interact with peers
increased self-confidence through success
Outlet for expressing creativity, script writing, and having FUN!
Testimonial Written by Katrina Kramlich of "Inspired Spectrums"
When Bonnie Neumann, founder of Drama Interaction and In the Company of Kids wrote in my Minnesota autism and play group on facebook about her theater class for children with special needs, I had to find out more about it. I had read some research recently into how theater programs had helped children learn social skills. I have always loved theater (probably why I have no problem playing with a child while being videoed and watched by a team of staff.) I called her up and offered to volunteer in order to learn more and see how it works. I am so used to working with children one on one so the idea of a class of children with autism seemed a bit daunting to me and I wanted to see how it went.
Bonnie is the perfect blend of cheerleader, facilitator, show person, people allower, and theater coach. She grew up in theater, starting dancing when she was young and continuing to perform her whole life. She designed the adaptive theater class many years ago with the help of Special Education Teachers. Bonnie wanted everyone to have the chance to experience theater and it just so turns out that theater gives everyone a chance to act out and process some of the little nuances of human interaction. Thus it makes the perfect class to work on social skills too!
The class followed a schedule that Bonnie customized for each day and allowed the students the opportunity to have plenty of movement while they acted. It included activities like body warm ups, voice warm ups, tongue twisters, acting out emotions, acting out things that happen to you, theater games, improv games, practicing lines, acting out skits. Each week built off the last week’s skills helping students ease into learning a performance.
The staff was partly professional staff and educated volunteers. We participated as well in order to model the exercises and of course have fun. There was enough staff for lots of encouragement and occasional individual attention when needed that didn’t distract from others. Everyone was really accepting of everyone’s sensory needs and allowed for each person to stim/ism/take care of themselves and when appropriate encouraged them again to participate.
I was blown away on the very first day by the amount of enthusiasm, participation and creativity of all the students in the class. I helped out in 2 classes, one for children younger than 12 and one for teenagers between 12 and 18. The students were all over the spectrum although they were all verbal. The classes were 45 minutes each. While they followed a schedule, the classes varied a lot, the energy was often intense, and the concepts were all fairly new to all the kids. Even so all the students did fantastic! When it came time for add on storytelling at the end – I have never heard such creativity and big picture thinking. It was incredible!
I think a lot of the fun and ease of the class goes to the incredibly accepting atmosphere that Drama Interaction puts forth. We all were totally okay with whatever happened, if a student needed to run a bit, that was okay, we just gently brought them back. If a student had a sensory meltdown there was no pressure to change and participate. The students and staff did a great job supporting each other at exactly the stage they were at.
I think this sort of class would be rather easy to start for those who have some expertise. I know it could help children everywhere if there are those generous souls who would be accepting enough and confident enough to look into these programs. Bonnie certainly seems willing to help all she meets.
For those near the Twin Cities of Minnesota a new class is about to happen with Drama Interaction. You still have to time to register. Classes start next week, January 12th and there are various times throughout the metro area. Here is the link for more information http://www.cokartscenter.com/dramainteraction501c3.html I know I will be back sometime in the future, its also mega fun to volunteer!
In the meantime, I have always considered playroom time with your child as a sort of improv theater. We are always modeling social skills through fun and excitement in the playroom. Children learn and process best through play and experience. The more excited we are to play with them, the more they will learn. So the next time you go into the playroom, tap into your inner actor and amp up your animations. The more expressive you are with your body and face the more engaged your child will be and the easier they will be able to interpret your body language.
“The therapeutic nature of “The Arts” cannot be ignored. The passion and enthusiasm that Bonnie Kaye displays while working with children is incomparable and easily seen in the eyes and smiles of those that she mentors. Children of ALL skills levels should be able to create, perform, and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their ability- Bonnie Kaye fosters just that!” January 28, 2011
Maria Carlson Senior Behavior TX, Lovaas Institute Midwest
Drama Interaction, Inc 501 (C) (3) non profit organization is a creative and performing arts program dedicated to fostering expression and empowerment of children and adults withspecial needs, engaging seniors in the arts and serving
inner city youth.
Our non profit organization combines the unique talents and passions of performing artists and special education teachers. Drama Interaction believes we each can be a star on life's stage if we focus on ability rather than disability. Drama Interaction offers our artists a starring role on the stage of life!
Donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible to provide scholarships to children who may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience the ARTS. Adaptive equipment, music, instruments, costumes, props, scripts are also needed for these programs. Drama Interaction Staff teach throughout the Twin Cities area. To donate, please click on the link below. Thank you!
In The Company of Kids "Performing" Arts Center Drama Interaction, 501 C3 nonprofit