Each year World Autism Month is recognized in April, where we focus on coming together to foster worldwide support, share stories, and connecting together to create a more inclusive world, and this year NYC’s Neurodiverse Theatre Company Actionplay is celebrating in a big way.
Actionplay was founded in 2011 and is dedicated to providing autistic, neurodivergent, and disabled teens and young adults equal access to education, arts, culture, and the theatre-making process. They hold regular classes and workshops and produce annual work, and this spring, to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, they’ll present a new musical comedy OMG It’s Magic School.
The musical is created by the company’s Action Improv Musical Series (AIMS), which features 9 neurodiverse actors ranging in age from 14 to 18 who take on the roles of actors, writers, and creators.
It’s a new school year at Magic School, a place where young magicians and magical creatures can be themselves – but when Magic School is suddenly in danger of closing, a ragtag bunch of magic students will need to use all their gifts to save their school.
In addition to the musical, Actionplay will also partner with the Casting Society of America for their annual audition workshop. Led by disabled actors Allie B. Gorrie and Kiah Amara, the workshop is designed to help neurodivergent and disabled actors develop their audition skills and develop a comfortable routine when working with casting directors.
As a neurodivergent musician and performer himself, founder and executive director Aaron Feinstein started Actionplay after finding that the theater was an incredibly safe space for him to explore his interested and identity.
“I wanted to create a company where autistic, neurodivergent and disabled individuals could explore their passions and grow in their creativity and artistry,” said Feinstein.
“Seeing our actors grow in their confidence on and off stage has been the most rewarding part for me. We’ve had many performers in our group go onto college to pursue their dreams, not only in performance, but we’ve had several of our students find their own unique career paths. Actionplay’s program gives our actors the opportunity to have their special interests embraced and our musicals are our way of exploring these interests within an ensemble performance,” he added.
Tickets to OMG It’s Magic School will be available mid April here. The musical will run for three performances at Baruch College Rose Nagelberg Theatre (55 Lexington Avenue), one on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. and two on Sunday, May 14 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
You can learn more about Actionplay on their website.