Down in the Southland

CREATING COMMUNITY ACCEPTANCE & INCLUSION FOR PEOPLE WITH DOWN SYNDROME 
 Accept    -    Educate    -    Collaborate

Theater FAQ


Fully Inclusive Theater Program FAQ

What do you mean by Fully Inclusive?

Fully inclusive theater means that anyone and everyone 10 years old and older are welcome to become a part of our cast!

How is this theater program different from other theater programs?

A team of educators and/or specialists in their craft provides support to all of our cast members to help them achieve their personal best. Their decades of experience working in theater, with people with special needs of all ages, as well as typically developing people, provides the unique opportunity for people with special needs and people who are typically developing, the opportunity to work side by side as cast mates.

I LOVE people with special needs and would love to volunteer to help! What do I do?

Join our cast and become part of our cast family! We would love to have you!! Become a friend and cast mate and come to see people your own age as potential friends and not just people who need your help. The biggest way you can help is to be their friend!

I want to volunteer to help! I’m in Best Buddies and/or Adaptive PE and I want to be a Special Ed teacher.

That’s great! You sound like a dedicated and hardworking student who has experience working with individuals with special needs. Your sensitivity and love for all humans is fantastic! Our theater program is about creating a community with the most beneficial and effective relationships. We have found that happens best when peers are just that, peers. Come join our cast and have an experience you will never forget!

I am a special Ed teacher/PT/OT/ST/Choreographer/Drama Teacher. How can I get involved?

Email us at DISTheater@DownintheSouthland.org and we will be in touch!

Do cast members who have special needs have a peer buddy or mentor?

Most cast members find a friend or two who they get along with really well, and we expect all cast members to help fellow cast members. We all need help sometimes. What makes our program unique is that we presume competence of our entire cast and don’t assign partnerships. We let friendships develop. We provide what is needed, and never assume everyone needs the same thing.

What happens if I audition and don’t get a part?

That won’t happen in the Down in the Southland Theater Program! If you audition, you will be cast in the show. Our director will ensure that you will be a necessary part of the production.

If I am guaranteed a part, why do I have to audition?

We really want to meet you and discuss what you want to do in the show (sing, but no lines, lines but no solos etc.). We need to know which piece of the play’s puzzle is best one for you and the production. We look forward to figuring this out together when you show us all you can do!

I want to be part of the show, but I don’t want to sing a solo!

Ok. No solo, no problem, but we expect everyone to sing in the group numbers. We all sound better in a group!

I can’t dance.

We will provide all the supports and instruction we can to ensure that everyone can participate in all of the dance numbers at their personal best level!

My son/daughter can’t read and has memory issues. How will they learn lines?

Our team consists of highly trained professional educators with decades of experience and seasoned theater veterans who, combined, have over a hundred years of experience. More importantly, they believe your son/daughter will succeed. With your help, we will find a way to make your son/daughter shine on stage!

Is this a drop off program?

Yes! Go take a few hours to yourself. Enjoy the abundant local shopping or a quiet dinner at the taco joint a block over (yum!) Just don’t hang out in the hall outside the rehearsal space to enjoy your mommy time. Our hosts have asked us not to. Yes, there may be a few parents who are allowed to stay in the hall for medical reasons, but anyone who does not have that on their form needs to leave after drop off. We will ensure there is appropriate adult supervision for the cast.

My child has medical needs and can’t be left without trained medical personnel. Will you provide someone or can I stay nearby?

We understand medical needs and we are not able to provide medical supports. Check the box on the registration form if you would like to remain ‘on campus’ during rehearsals and we are happy to discuss how we can help your cast member be included, healthy and safe during rehearsals.


Sign up for your audition below