San Rafael’s Youth in Arts set for one-off shows

August 1, 2013 by  

Tomorrow will see a new San Rafael theater group put on a series of multimedia plays which have been written by students from a local special needs school.

The shows are part of a program which has been running since Monday July 22 and are presented and organized by Youth in Arts, a not-for-profit organization. It is the first summer arts initiative of its kind.

Aimed at creating a bridge between community groups, it is all about promoting positive social change. A teaching artist for the group, Melissa Briggs, said:

“Our goal is to get [the students] to learn from their peers with developmental disabilities.”

It has been a journey of discovery for everyone. Briggs explained that at the start, everyone was quiet and reserved. However, by the first week’s end, the group were laughing and joking as one.

Throughout the program, the group has written three plays whilst developing the basics of acting, filmmaking, and playwriting; everyone has contributed.

One member of the group, 18-year-old Jake Severin, who has a stroke-affected cognitive impairment, said:

“I feel strong. I feel like I can help our cast mates.”

Jake has the role of a cowboy buying a stuffed bear in one of the plays. The second show sees a local park ranger confront a man after he purposefully tramples a poppy, whilst the third will be presented in a series of drawings.

Poster printing services have been used to advertise the event, which takes place tomorrow and starts at 7:00pm at 917 C St.