February 1, 2013 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - "Theatre as a Community Collaboration"
Six talented individuals from REM Iowa Developmental Services Hiawatha (RDS) have
spent six exciting weeks preparing for a very special night. As a cooperative effort
of REM Iowa Developmental Services, Theatre Cedar Rapids and Legion Arts, this self-named
group, the "Team of Super Awesome Rock Stars", will present "Three Awesome Fables"
at CSPS Hall on Friday, February 8th at 6:00pm to an audience of invited peers,
family, and community members.
Theater Cedar Rapids Education Coordinator Mike Wilhelm coached the actors weekly
with exercises to encourage self-expression and interactions between players. Legion
Arts has generously allowed the use of the historic theater at CSPS Hall in Cedar
Rapids so the participants could have the full experience of presenting on a stage
where scores of artists have presented before them. Local artist Sonya Darrow
worked with the actors to create inspiring and creative costumes. Musician and
teacher Brook Hoover was eager to lend his musical talents to the show by collaborating
with the troop of six on innovative sound techniques. Todd Kimm of Legion Arts
was instrumental in catching the vision and bringing the team together to make the
project a great experience. The actors responded with teamwork, cooperation, and
pride in their accomplishments.
The RDS actors have had a wonderful time learning about movement, projecting their
voices, and following stage direction. "I like it. I think it's fun," says Douglas
Franta, one of the actors. Shawn Stender also had an enjoyable time, "It's great
and very beautiful," he says of the experience. Stephanie Bawek, Program Director
and Kevin Connor, Program Coordinator will lend their acting chops to the performance
as well. Kevin believes the experience will be a memorable one for RDS, "The individuals
involved relish the idea of being in the theatre," he commented. Felicia Sales,
actor from RDS, agrees, "I like to be a mouse and I really enjoy it!"
The theatre experience exemplifies the RDS mission of quality programming and community
integration. It is one of many opportunities individuals in our services enjoy along
with art classes, music therapy, and fun fitness coaching. We hope the relationships
created within the community through this project will continue to inspire opportunities
and enhance lives.
For more information please contact TCR Education Coordinator Mike Wilhelm at 319-366-8591
About Theatre Cedar Rapids
Among the region's largest and longest-operating community theatres, Theatre Cedar
Rapids is located in the Iowa Theater Building in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids,
Iowa. Founded by regionalist artist Grant Wood, TCR is a nationally-recognized
501(c)3 nonprofit community theatre embarking on its 79th season of quality local
programs that reach more than 55,000 eastern Iowans of all ages. Core goals of
the organization center on the quality and accessibility of programs. During the
August to July season, the 11 full-time staff, part-time help and contract artists
fill more than 3,000 volunteer placements and work together to create an ambitious
lineup of musicals, comedies, dramas and classics in addition to providing theatre
education programs. The mission of Theatre Cedar Rapids is "to provide quality theatre,
maximizing community participation and education in theatre arts to Cedar Rapids
and the surrounding region."
* 35,000 hours volunteered last year
* Over 60,000 patrons and participants last season
* Founded by artists Grant Wood and Marvin Cone in 1925
* An independent certified public accountant audits the theatre annually