This week my collaborator Michael Haverty and I will have our second residency week at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street as part of their New Victory LabWorks. We are in the research phase for this exciting new project for young audiences about the Autistic Spectrum, meeting with medical professionals, teachers, parents and people that are on the autistic spectrum themselves. The project will receive a two year development phase and is scheduled to be produced at 7Stages in Atlanta for their '15-'16 season.
"Members of devising ensemble The Object Group, under the leadership of Michael Haverty, will partner with director Erwin Maas and 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta in the development and creation of a new stage production, Working Title: 'SPECTRUM!'. Inspired by the acclaimed novel ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by author Mark Haddon & in response to the public’s often misconceived notions about autism (e.g. in reaction to the Newtown shootings), we will devise an entirely new work about a young boy (or girl) with autism. The basis of our interest in this project, is the way the audience is brought into a young man's mind, giving voice to the unseen/unheard differences in brain function and perception. Through a combination of object theater, puppetry, and dynamic interactive use of technology, we seek to bring our audience into a greater understanding of the autistic spectrum, to facilitate a dialogue between performers and audience about preconceived notions of special needs individuals, and to address the issue of bullying…all the while delivering a powerful, and entertaining theatrical spectacle."