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Special needs actors are the stars at Adaptive Works in Peoria

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 20:51:54-05

They're working out all the jitters and all the nervous energy at Adaptive Works in downtown Peoria. It's here where 16 actors and actresses with special needs can be a star. "We believe that theater is for everyone and we really wanted a place where special needs individuals could come in and have an authentic theater experience," said Brianna Funk.

Brianna is the director, a young woman with a passion for theater and a heart for helping. "I really have a heart for people with disabilities," said Brianna. "That's just something that's really important to me and I also love theater so combining them together was just perfect."

It was Brianna's idea to expand the special needs productions to a full program. The group is getting ready to perform Annie. Chelsea McComb is playing the main character.

"Yeah, big role for me," said McComb. The goal is for everyone to have a part. So Brianna takes the story-line of Annie and then re-writes the script to fit the actors abilities on stage.

Each person is also given a goal, maybe to make a friend or to get the line just right. "Sometimes individuals with disabilities can suffer some isolation," said Brianna. "They get to come out and not only make friends but interact with each other as well as getting up in front of a huge audience is not easy."

Adaptive Works will perform Annie on November 13th and 15th. The theater will hold auditions in Spring 2018 for another production yet to be named.