Mesa’s Adaptive Program has again partnered with Red Mountain High School for an inclusive program called Adaptive Off-Broadway Theater. The program pairs individuals with intellectual disabilities with theater students from the high school. The group will perform “Seussical KIDS” Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9 at Red Mountain High School, 7301 E. Brown Road. Both performances being at 7 p.m.
The city began partnering with Mesa Public Schools in 2015 to implement Adaptive Off-Broadway Theater, allowing theater students to act as a shadow to an individual with an intellectual disability while performing. The inaugural season had seven adaptive participants and six theater students. The program has more than tripled in size and now offers a fall and spring session.
“Mesa’s Adaptive Off-Broadway Theater allows individuals with disabilities to enjoy gaining peer relationships with the student volunteers and enhance their skill levels because of the one-on-one attention and support they get from the volunteers,” Recreation Supervisor Lane Gram said. “It is quite rewarding to see children of all abilities work together, adapt to each other’s strengths and learn to understand and accept each other.”
The social and recreational opportunities provided by the Mesa’s Adaptive Program focus on abilities, rather than disabilities, and achieve the following goals: enhance independence, improve social skills, increase self-esteem, connect people and families with community resources, provide opportunities to contribute to society, promote community integration and increase disability awareness.