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Open Spot Theatre celebrates 10 years of providing theatre for all

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 10:44 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As we wrap up Autism Acceptance Month, there is one theater program that is going above an beyond to make sure that there is a spot on stage for people of all ability levels.

It’s called Open Spot Theatre.

“Open Spot Theater is a theater program that is open for everyone, our focus is specifically on students with disabilities, but we do serve all kinds of populations,” explained Annie Klark, one of the founders.

Open Spot theatre has been serving the community for 10 years and this unique program started on a whim.

Annie and I met at a neurotypical theater for children and we had students come in with autism and we were like, why don’t know if they have a specific spot just for them in the world and we looked at each other was like let’s make it ourselves,” said Katie Mann, the other founder.

Typically Open Spot works with hundreds of students in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Lansing each year and puts on around dozen of performances.

“We are able to make every student successful no matter what. For one student just standing on stage is successful,” said Annie. “We’ve had students come through that, you know, they’ve never done anything theatrical before and so just seeing them have the courage and the vulnerability to be able to get up on stage and do this is incredible and it’s not only incredible for them and for us but also for their friends and their family who may not have gotten to see that before.”

This May- Open Spot Theatre is celebrating 10 years of sharing theatre for everyone.

What makes it extra sweet- is that they have been able to teach 12,000 kids along the way.

“That’s a reason we want to celebrate 10 years is because we’re mobile, meaning that we go to students schools libraries churches synagogues in a place that they’re already comfortable and then we can add the fun and excitement and chaos and they’re more open to learning new things. But because we’re mobile a lot of times our students don’t know each other so for 10 years we decided to throw a big party and invite all our alumni to come to Northville, Michigan and to just say thank you for being part of the open spot family,” said Katie.

You can sign up for the classes now-

or you can even help out by donating to their student scholarship fund.

For more information: https://openspottheatre.com/

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