WHO are we?
InterActing is a non-profit theater school that encourages autistic teenagers through improvisation to break out of their patterns of ritual and routine to embrace the unexpected.
Through engaging exercises, we teach our students to become more flexible and confident, but most importantly we want them to have fun.
Autistic teenagers often find conversations challenging and unpredictable. At the same time, they come into an age where they want to belong to the group, yet they have a harder time making connections with peers. This can lead to feeling misunderstood and they end up isolated.
InterActing is a theaterschool which also serves as a meeting place. In our safe environment, participants playfully learn to interact with each other and complement each other’s ideas, while laughing and having fun. Moreover being an actor is cool, as they all watch YouTube stars.
With the basic principles of improvisation theater, Boom Chicago’s professional actors, together with ChildCenter’s supervisors, work with the teenagers. The goal is to turn scripted behavior into meaningful interaction. InterActing wants to help these young people develop from imitation to conversation to improvisation.
We train young people with communicative challenges, not by enhancing skills, but by enhancing social understanding and flexibility. Structure is important, but as a means, not an end in itself. Improvisation is a form of theater that doesn’t use a script. There are however basic principles that are used in improvisation such as ‘Yes And’, which are essential to complementing each other’s ideas and developing a bond with the other. Improvising and connecting requires a minimum of two people!
The advantages of our approach:
- Fun: Having fun strengthens the motivation and reduces stress. Laughing together connects and makes working together easier.
- Self-confidence: Daring to take risks plays a major role in improvisation. Learning how to present yourself is also important. We teach our students to trust his or her own ideas and skills.
- Imagination: Albert Einstein claimed ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge,’ and we agree. Making creative choices and coming up with new ideas are essential in improvisation and drama.
Playing roles from different situations and perspectives promotes sympathy and tolerance for opinions and feelings of others. Acting is about understanding emotions and how to express them.
- Communication skills:
Theatrical play increases the verbal and non-verbal ways to consider ideas and move them forward.
- Problem solving:
Our students are taught how to communicate with the audience in who, what, where and why form. Improvisation promotes fast, focused thinking.
- A chance to let feelings out:
Our participants have the opportunity to shows a range of feelings on stage in a safe environment, leading to a reduction of antisocial behavior.
- Social awareness:
Theater, Legends, myths, poems and stories and drama teach you something about social differences between other cultures, both past and present.
- Body strength and the process of senses:
The physical aspect of performing improves flexibility, coordination, balance and control.
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Rozengracht 117, 1016LV Amsterdam