What We Do
Inclusive Performing Companies
ArtStream performances feature adult actors with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) — including autism — and other social and behavioral needs. Actors, volunteer mentors, and theatre professionals works as a team to create original performances for live audiences. Find upcoming performances on our calendar.
New in 2017-2018! Actors follow their performance passions to create a short act that challenges their creativity and showcases their interests. The final show is performed cabaret-style and includes music, dancing, comedy, and original scenes.
Inclusive Theatre Companies
Actors develop and perform an original musical. The company votes on a theme, creates original characters, and improvises scenes. Those scenes are scripted to become an original, one-act musical. Each performance presents two of these musicals in a double-bill.
“I was nervous at first but I got through it and I was relieved. Now I want to try it again. I felt I was climbing a mountain and I got to the top. The feeling of being on stage was amazing. I can’t believe I did it.” — Nadia Abouraya, Inclusive Theatre Company actor
Learn more about the Inclusive Theatre Company development process.
Inclusive Theatre Company performances can be an audience member’s first meaningful experience interacting with people with disabilities. In this way, they are transformative for the audience as well as the actors.
“They see that she is a person who can really stay on task, can follow a role, and she can focus. So what we’ve noticed is that after people see her in a show, they are more likely to engage with her.” — Paula DeRoy, parent of an Inclusive Theatre Company actor
Inclusive Drama and Social Skills Classes
ArtStream teaches acting techniques and communication skills in inclusive classes designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) — including autism — and other social and behavioral needs. Classes build skills that are applicable in all aspects of life: from the stage, to the family dinner table, to Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and the workplace. Class subjects may include comedy, music theatre, improv, public speaking, role-play, party dancing, and social skills.
“Chris has shown tremendous growth in his language and social skills. We credit this to ArtStream, its volunteers and ongoing encouragement.” — Tess Corbey, ArtStream parent
Find upcoming class offerings on our calendar. No experience necessary to join a class!
Or bring ArtStream to your community — download our Menu of Services to see what we can do for you!
Military Hospital Programs
Patients, their families, and caregivers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) connect and heal through participating in bedside and group arts sessions. Through “Allies in the Arts” (designed for patients and families) and “You Are a Work of Art” (designed for nurses, medics, and technicians), ArtStream teaching artists provide sessions focused on music, creative writing, visual arts, and improvisational expression. Sessions are designed to give participants a feeling of creativity, resilience, and community in the hospital setting.
“You made our evening perfect. You really gave us a big lift when we needed it. Thank you so much.” — Spouse of a patient at WRNMMC after a music session
Military Hospital programs are closed to the public and do not accept volunteers.