Theatre class helping people with autism break out of their shells
After years of participating in theatre classes and seeing it help with his social anxiety, Maxwell Adamson had the idea of a class designed specifically for people like him – Improv for Autism.
Adamson had been taking theatre classes at the Globe Theatre since he was 11 years old, and it was there he pitched the idea. Now, four years after its creation, Improv for Autism has helped many people with autism break out of their shells.
“People with autism, they have the things that they like to do and a routine that they like, and improv is a really good way of disturbing that routine in a controlled environment,” said Adamson, who is now a teaching assistant for the class.
Tristan Oremba is one student in the class.
“Improv is about acting, about being with friends (and) doing something new,” he said.
The class teaches improv through games and activities, but it also teaches valuable social skills.
“The games that we play and the activities that we do, it’s learning how to communicate with one another and learning empathy and patience and kindness through the fun of what improv brings,” said Cameron Chomyn, the class facilitator.
Adamson is thrilled to be able to help others the same way his childhood theatre teachers helped him.
“It’s just a really rewarding and enlightening experience,” he said.
The class meets once and week, for 12 week sessions. The Globe Theatre is currently only offering the class to people ages 14 and up, but is hoping to expand the program to younger students.