— The Akron-based Center for Applied Drama & Autism (CADA) is hosting “All the World’s a Stage,” its first major fundraiser, on Saturday, April 23 at 6 p.m., in the atrium of the AES Campus Building in downtown Akron.
Coinciding with William Shakespeare’s birthday, the event will feature an interactive Shakespearean murder mystery created and performed by CADA’s older students. The event also will feature a delicious dinner is catered by Totally Cooked, a cash bar and an auction.
Autism advocate and Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh is the honorary chair for the fundraiser. Tickets are $100 and reservations may be made at www.centerforada.org or by calling (330) 569-4565. The deadline for purchasing tickets is April 6.
CADA was recently awarded a $12,000 Knight Arts Challenge matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. After raising the matching funds, CADA will use them to create a production of “The Glass Menagerie” to tour throughout Akron neighborhoods beginning in September.
Victoria Rogers, vice president of the Arts for the Knight Foundation, said, “The arts are a wonderful prism to explore our challenges, our differences, and to find a path for greater mutual understanding. We look forward to seeing how this production will put the audience in the shoes of those who live on the spectrum and how they respond.”
Young people with autism will work as theatre professionals — on stage and behind the scenes — to mount the production. In keeping with CADA’s mission to support social and emotional well-being, growth and empowerment for its students, the actors and crew will receive stipends for their work.
CADA offers theatre classes, workshops and other development opportunities for young people on the autism spectrum. It was founded by Valendza, an actor and Intervention Specialist at Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and Wendy Duke, a K-12 drama instructor and creator of Miller South’s theatre school.
Also this spring, CADA is moving from its original studio space in the Balch Street Fitness Center into a new studio in the basement of the Evans Building at 333 S. Main St. in downtown Akron.
For more information on the Center for Applied Drama and Autism and the “All the World’s a Stage” fundraiser, visit www.centerforada.org, call (330) 569-4565, or e-mail Angie Laakso at [email protected].