Friday, March 25, 2016

Unique Theater Show At Roosevelt Tonight

The Unified Drama Department at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th Street), the feeder school for Laurelhurst and other NE neighborhoods, is having a special show tonight, called "Voices 2k16" at 7pm.

Tom Ledcke, Director of the Program and a special education teacher at Roosevelt who has a background in theater, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:
Unified Drama is an inclusive theater environment that fosters respect, compassion, and community for students with learning exceptionalities.   
Students with a wide range of ability ( Deaf and hard of hearing program, Autism) are performing stories from their daily lives in a typical high school.Students have written  their stories to relate their experience and challenges they face on a daily basis.
Unified Drama is in its second year for students with and without learning challenges. I wanted to give my students the opportunity to experience putting together a show and performing. we are focusing on Social stories that target social perspective.  
All of the students are from the RHS map including Laurelhurst. the show will run a little over an hour. the show is not part of the Drama dept. but we have a good reciprocal relationship. Students from Nathan Hale are also joining us

Donations will benefit the program and all proceeds and/or collections, net of expenses will be held in trust by Seattle Public Schools until disbursed to (Unity Club), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

The Seattle Public Schools website says of the program:
Roosevelt is collaborating with the Unified Drama program at Nathan Hale on the production. The show is a series of vignettes, some monologues, some group sketches, some songs. It opens with the Nathan Hale students performing the caterpillar and tea party scenes from “Alice in Wonderland.”
Unified Drama draws together students of all abilities, including those in special education and some who are not, in “an inclusive environment that fosters respect for every voice and all abilities.”  
It was created by Brittney Edge-Leonard, a special education instructional assistant at Hale with a passion for the theater, at the urging of Hale Assistant Principal Jolene Grimes. Tom Ledcke picked up the idea and started a club there. 
“This is a wonderful example of a program that honors the district’s commitment to educating every student,” said Wyeth Jessee, Seattle Public Schools’ Executive Director of Special Education. “We’re trying to change the culture and the mindset so that everyone sees these students not as children with disabilities, but as children who have many gifts and abilities. We want to educate the whole child.”

(photo courtesy of SPS website)

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