UW Bothell and Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center students collaborate through drama


Last fall IAS faculty member Deborah Hathaway’s students joined students at Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center (ABC) to study drama and co-create an applied theatre community. The collaborative partnership challenged all of the students to learn acting and performance technique, and actively practice and embody the curricular goals of creating an inclusive community.

ABC is located in Bothell and offers skill-based classes and activities for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities as they transition out of the education system and into adulthood.  Says Hathaway, “The experience was incredibly special and meaningful. We shared leadership, we collaborated on learning goals, and we supported one another. The ABC staff went above and beyond in educating me, our graduate student assistant, Melina Tovar, and all of our undergraduate students.  We worked collectively as a team to not just teach drama, but to create a classroom of acceptance, inclusion, and joy!”

Melina Tovar, a student in the M.A in Cultural Studies program, says “This collaboration was one of the most meaningful and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had through a classroom setting because I could see students and communities connecting and impacting one another in real time.” Tovar created a moving video that offers a glimpse into this shared experience and their performances. Watch it now.

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