Title

Autism On & Off-Stage

Lead Author Major

English

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Gary Armagnac

Faculty Mentor Department

Theatre Arts

Abstract/Artist Statement

My sister was diagnosed severe autism when was 2 years old and she inspires me to give as much of my heart as I can to everybody I see. For my honors senior project, I was deeply compelled to invest my time in the two areas that I hold very near and dear to me: (1) autism awareness (2) using theater as a platform. Over the years, I have been fascinated by the way autism has been portrayed in the media and the repercussions any over-generalizations and stereotypical takes on the spectrum can have on both families that are directly affected by autism and the people who are learning about it for the first time. I aimed to answer the question "Is there a right way to portray autism in the media? If so, how?" By analyzing the films Molly (1999), Adam (2009), and Deanna Jent's play "Falling," I delved into what aspects were problematic and what aspects were effective in portraying an autistic character. I also focused on the methodologies the actors chose when preparing for their roles. My PURC presentation will involve a 5 minute talk sharing my findings and performing a monologue with autism as a disembodied narrator. I obtained additional information for this project by observing my sister’s special school and volunteering at the Family Resource Network. My hope is to shed a positive light on autism by shaking up what it means to be “normal.”

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

26-4-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

26-4-2014 4:40 PM

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Apr 26th, 1:00 PM Apr 26th, 4:40 PM

Autism On & Off-Stage

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

My sister was diagnosed severe autism when was 2 years old and she inspires me to give as much of my heart as I can to everybody I see. For my honors senior project, I was deeply compelled to invest my time in the two areas that I hold very near and dear to me: (1) autism awareness (2) using theater as a platform. Over the years, I have been fascinated by the way autism has been portrayed in the media and the repercussions any over-generalizations and stereotypical takes on the spectrum can have on both families that are directly affected by autism and the people who are learning about it for the first time. I aimed to answer the question "Is there a right way to portray autism in the media? If so, how?" By analyzing the films Molly (1999), Adam (2009), and Deanna Jent's play "Falling," I delved into what aspects were problematic and what aspects were effective in portraying an autistic character. I also focused on the methodologies the actors chose when preparing for their roles. My PURC presentation will involve a 5 minute talk sharing my findings and performing a monologue with autism as a disembodied narrator. I obtained additional information for this project by observing my sister’s special school and volunteering at the Family Resource Network. My hope is to shed a positive light on autism by shaking up what it means to be “normal.”