By Richard Stile

Down the Yellow Brick Road

  |  Advice & News  

Children with special needs of the DramaRama program performed a 30-minute show of' The Wizard of Oz" at New Canaan's Summer Theater Festival, memorizing lines and cues and achieving great milestones.
Summer Theatre of New Canaan Festival
Kids embraced classic characters, including (left to right) the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion in the DramaRamas’ production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Photo courtesy Summer
Theatre of New Canaan

On June 28, the Summer Theatre of New Canaan’s DramaRamas took the stage under the tent at Waveny Park to perform "The Wizard of Oz" in front of a full house. The DramaRamas program, created for kids ages 8-17 with special needs, has been produced by Summer Theatre of New Canaan for two years, and the program has grown greatly since its first show, says Brooke Manning-Hinds, the program’s director of administration.

For this particular perfromance, 10 children participated in 10 rehearsals led by professional actors who performed alongside them in the show. The show itself was shortened to 30 minutes so the children could memorize each line and cue.

By the end of the show, many audience members were in tears, especially parents of the children involved who had not seen their children participate in a project like this before.

“DramaRamas provides a venue for kids who are challenged, both mentally and physically, to perform in something they would never have had an opportunity to participate in,” Manning-Hinds says. “Music is a wonderful healer and medium for children who have special needs.”

 

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