CCPR presents barrier-free theater production

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Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation prides itself on promoting inclusion year-round for all ages, levels and abilities.

With March being Disability Awareness Month, the organization turns the spotlight on hosting its second annual barrier-free theater performance, “Colors of Unity,” at 6 p.m. March 23 and 2 p.m. March 24 at the multipurpose rooms at the Monon Community Center. Barrier-free theater is a form of drama therapy in which participants with and without disabilities write and act in their own production.

Michelle Yadon, CCPR inclusion program supervisor, said it’s an inclusive cast of 13.

“The cast creates the theme, title and storyline through the barrier-free theater process,” Yadon said. “There are many benefits of barrier-free theater, including increased understanding of self, increased understanding of others, increased understanding of society (and) the ability to develop a character of someone you would like to be.”

Yadon said the cast is able to increase confidence, strength, courage and kindness through exploration of character.

Last year’s show was about saving a community from violence. Yadon said cast members chose early on to focus on family as this year’s theme.

“They wanted to explore the meaning of family and how that affects all of us,” Yadon said. “The cast members wanted to explore it in a different way. For example, two of the actors are married and would like to have a child at some point, and they wanted to explore these roles. Other actors wanted to explore being able to provide for family, or care for their parents, and others wanted to explore unity of family.”

The music was composed by Leah Weprich, who works at the Monon Community Center as CCPR’s Aquatic Program supervisor.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Monon Community Center or at carmelclayparks.com. The March 23 performance will include an American Sign Language interpreter. There will be a Curtain Talk with the actors after each performance.

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