Lauren Goldman Marshall
author, playwright, director




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Theater of Possibility - Rehearsal for Living
Finding Yourself through Acting and Improv


Video Sample: Check out this video of TOP youth performing at SPU, March, 2014.

Theater of Possibility Summer Day Camp:   

Theater of Possibility for youth with autism spectrum and other ability differences will offer a two-week half-day summer camp for ages 8-13 at University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle, 98103, M-F, 3-6 PM, July 31-August 11. Cost $600.  Contact Lauren Marshall to register.   Partial scholarships and pay-what-you-can available.  TOP is a DSHS respite care provider. Click here for a downloadable flyer for the TOP summer day camp.

Winter-Spring TOP after-school classes in Seattle are under way.   Please inquire about summer or next fall.

New:  Saturday classes for kids, teens and adults at Bellevue Youth Theatre:
Lauren  is also offering classes for ages 8-13 and 14+ (including adults of all ages) at Bellevue Youth Theatre, on Saturday mornings.  The current  session started March 4 and runs through early June.  (with breaks for school  holidays).  Contact Lauren Marshall for more information.

Come Explore the Possibilities! Theater of Possibility ("TOP") helps young people give voice to their ideas and dreams! Through fun and zany theater games, improv exercises and role-playing, we explore the dynamics of friendship, family and school. Along the way, we shape powerful emotions and ideas into moving, profound and funny works of theater.

Social skills are inherent in what we do, but TOP classes are playful and non-didactic. Relationship topics such as making and keeping friends, responses to bullying or exclusion, peer pressure and social injustice, might be explored through the creative genres of a fantasy, sci-fi or absurdist comedy.

We practice flexibility, non-verbal communication, recognizing social nuances, and perspective taking, collaboration and leadership. But the primary focus is on creativity and collaboration. I want to give students tools to better understand relationship dynamics and empower themselves, but rather than deign to teach students how to conform to societal norms, I aim to give them a voice to teach the world!

Who: TOP serves children, youth and adults who are interested in using theater to explore and express themselves more fully and authentically. We welcome students who are quirky, spirited or shy, or who may have Asperger's, autism, ADHD, or other learning differences. TOP promotes an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for each person's unique gifts.

Note: Students must be able to participate in structured group activities or come with an aide. The first class of each session is an introductory class to make sure it is a good fit for all.

Here is what some parents have said about TOP:

"The real triumph for me was watching Alex. Thought you'd like to know that he has had an INTENSE fear of speaking or even appearing in front of other people. When he was the stage manager in high school he would even refuse to be acknowledged on stage at the end of a performance. I cried through his entire performance. He even improvised - pure magic!"
- Jonibeth Whitney, mother of a 20 year old TOP actor

"[My son's] mental rigidity has given way to flexibility and a new found ability to function within a group. His self-esteem is soaring and the class has become an anchor for life. He marveled aloud that “Lauren could bring together such different kinds of kids and have us get along so well.”
Susan Moffitt, mother of a 17 year old TOP actor.

"My daughter was able to actually see and experience choices for turning a potentially hurtful social interaction into a beneficial one. Theater of Possibility, is, as they say, a rehearsal for living."
- Ann Morrow, mother of a 13 year old TOP actor.

"My daughter…is the NT sibling. Her brother is HFA. It was a great experience for her. Besides just being fun, it gave her the chance to see how other kids with different abilities are (and how they feel about situations in life) instead of only having her little brother as a reference. I think this is a very powerful tool for our kids. It’s a fun way to learn how to deal with some of the social difficulties that our kids face."
- Barbary El Naby, mother of a 12 year old TOP actor

"He loved it. It was the first class/activity that he has done and not worried about going to: he felt very safe and enjoyed it. He especially enjoyed the performances.."
- Holly Tabor, mother of a 7 year old TOP actor


Also, since 2014, Lauren has been teaching a Theater of Possibility program to youth living in Sand Point Housing. This is a joint project of Solid Ground and Seattle Music Theater, and supported by a Youth Arts Award from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and a grant from the Windermere Foundation.

Theater of Possibility - Sand Point Youth troupe performed The Rude Princess, a mini-play loosely inspired by The Taming of the Shrew (but with an ending that doesn't make women cringe), at the downtown Seattle Public Library as part of the Shakespeare First Folio celebration, on March 2 and April 3, 2016. Click here for more.

 

Ways to be involved with TOP:

1. Register for a class (see above).

2. Inquire about volunteering. We seek capable and compassionate teens and adults to participate as student interns and teaching assistants. Community service credit may be available through your high school.

3. Custom-design a workshop for your school or group. Lauren can provide a custom-designed workshop of any length, from 90 minutes to 30 hours, or anything in between (15-20 hours is ideal), in your venue, tailored to general or specific themes. Social skills themes, for example, might focus on inclusion, anti-bullying, risk reduction or self-empowerment. Literary themes might include playwriting, adapting fiction for the stage, or creative generative theater through group improv and collaboration. Lauren has been selected for the Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster for teaching artists working in the public schools. Seattle Public Schools in the Central Pathway are eligible for grants for teaching artists on the roster. More info is available here.

4. Book the TOP youth troupe. Bring the teen/young adult TOP troupe to your school or community for a custom-designed interactive theater workshop on the topic of your choice. This powerful video captures TOP youth giving a powerful performance to theater arts educators at SPU on what can go wrong in a class when teachers don't understand autism.

5. Inquire about workshops, trainings and master classes for adults. Lauren offers weekend intensive workshops by invitation and independently for educators, therapists, parents and other adults wanting to learn these techniques. See below for recent partnerships.

 

Articles about TOP:

The Rude Princess: Sand Point Housing youth reach for the TOP

Check out the January 2013 issue of Seattle's Child for a feature article on Theater of Possibility's program for yotuh with ASD and other ability differences. A nice article also appeared in September 2012 in the neighborhood blog Wallyhood.

Also check out these blogs by Susan Moffitt, TOP parent:

Theater of Possibility - partnerships:

  • Weekend master class. California State University Northridge
  • Youth demonstration: Seattle Children's Hospital, Neurodevelopmental team
  • Youth demonstration: American Alliance for Theater in Education Conference, Seattle Pacific University
  • School partnerships: Laurelhurst Elementary, Arbor Heights Elementary
  • Co-Instructor, Hero's Journey video production camps, Redmond Parks & Recreation
  • After-School classes and/or summer camps: Youth Theatre Northwest; Sand Point Housing, co-sponsored by Solid Ground, Magnuson Community Center and Seattle Musical Theatre
  • Guest artist workshops: Silver Kite, Sammamish Arts Council, Northwest School, Plymouth Congregational Church, Middle East Peace Camp, Learn-to-Succeed
  • Training workshops for educators: Antioch University and Western Washington State University

Thank you to the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Youth Arts Awards, 201214 & 2015-17, and Arc of Snohomish County for their support of TOP.


Theater of Possibility:

Rehearsing Social Skills through Acting and Improv

Click here for more information


Original Material and Coding Copyright © 2010–17 by Lauren Goldman Marshall. All Rights Reserved.