Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the warmest of holiday greetings to our Shenanigans families, friends, and supporters!
As the days shorten and we begin to anticipate the changes that will come with the new year, I'd like to express my appreciation for your support and interest in Shenanigans this past year. I am truly humbled and honored by the wonderful opportunities the program has received throughout our area, by the talented and energetic team who make it happen, and by the many eager and awesome actors whom we have come to know these past couple of years. I lift my coffee mug to you all and look forward to an even more spectacular year ahead!
Beginning January 9, we will be introducing new performing arts activities along with our popular Shenanigans applied improv program. You'll also be seeing more of the name Spectrum Arts, our corporate entity that will house what will be a growing menu of performing arts offerings. New on the schedule are music, movement, and beginning performing arts classes for children as young as 3 years. We're bringing new ideas into some of our improv classes that will result in some original short performances that we hope to present to the community. Also, be sure to note our new class for parents that is going to be a blast! (And you'll take away some new ideas to use at home with the kiddos.)
Through the activities of Spectrum Arts, we hope to develop performing troupes that will take inspiring and inspired performances into the community. We've witnessed so many wonderful talents and abilities in our actors that I want to show Atlanta what we can do!
As the new year begins, I'll be sharing more about where we want to go with Spectrum Arts in 2012 and beyond. I sincerely hope we can count on your support and continued friendship over the coming year to help make it happen.
Aaand ... Scene!
Sandy Bruce, Founder & Executive Director
Spectrum Arts, Inc. ("Shenanigans")
Calling all kids, tweens, teens, and adults! We've got classes for little ones as young as 3 years all the way to adults! Learn, make friends, and have fun when you become a part of our very special performing arts programs. Click here to download our PDF schedule of 2012 weekly classes that start January 9, and call 770.354.5770 if you have any questions or want to register. If you don't see a class near you, check back once in awhile, because we often add classes!
Holiday Break Camps! (Tweens & Teens) For some extra improv fun over the holiday break, we're holding two 3-day workshops: Dec 27-29 in N Buckhead, and Jan 3-5 in Marietta/east Cobb. Click here to see the flyer.
"I was sitting there today at improv, glanced at you watching the guys, and am feeling so very grateful for your passion and enthusiasm to create this amazing program!!! It is wonderful in so many ways!!!!!!." - LCS
We want to expand our program around Atlanta metro to bring the joy of performing to more of the autism community while helping them develop cognitive flexibility and social communication skills. We also work to increase awareness and acceptance by welcoming neurotypical participants to our activities and - in the works - developing community-facing performances. To do this, we need to bring on additional team members who can support our mission enthusiastically. We have active weekly classes going and we are forming additional classes and school break workshops. And it's not too early to think ahead to summer camp gigs! Contact Sandy for details on any of these positions.
Class assistant: We need people who have a background in special education or other special needs experience (specifically autism and related disorders), and are energetic, patient, upbeat, and capable of helping our class directors make the Shenanigans experience a fun one for all. Ideal for parapros, stay at home parents, and college and graduate level students in spec ed, theater, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, and similar fields. Reliable transportation is a must.
Class director: Our instructor team is top notch, and we're looking to add more top notch people. Must have enthusiasm and energy along with experience in, or an aptitude for, acting, improv, or other performance arts. You must have a passion for working with children, teens, or adults with special needs (especially those with Asperger's and related conditions), and be able to successfully reach and engage our participants.
Volunteers and advisors: If you have skills, knowledge, or just passion and energy to help us out, we could use you! We need class monitors at any of our many class sites. Work from home doing graphic design, marketing, fund raising, promotion. Anyone know QuickBooks?
Volunteers: We always need enthusiastic volunteers to help out in our classes. It's a fun gig - the class director does the work and you just enjoy and provide some support to our class members. This is a great service opportunity for high schoolers and college students as well as adults.
Class space: Our Shenanigans team is growing, so we can take our program into more and more neighborhoods in metro Atlanta and outlying areas. If you know of a location we could check out, please contact me. Requirements include fairly large, preferably empty, space. A stage would be wonderful!
Partners: If you're interested in bringing any of our programs into your school or organization, I'd love to talk with you.
Donations: We have a scholarship fund that is for those individuals who need a little extra help to be able to attend our activities. Right now, this fund is pretty well depleted, and it needs to be fed. Over the fall, our scholarships made a difference to five actors! Sometimes we start a class with fewer participants than we need to break even on expenses like insurances, rents, instructors fees, and the many other operating and overhead costs of business. Your donation also helps us keep these classes going until they grow to a sustainable level. There's a Donate button on our web site - and every little bit of generosity helps!
Questions? Contact Sandy.
News travels! I came across a blog by Susan Moffitt from Florida, where she talks about Shenanigans. You can access her blog at Autism Key. Thanks for the shout-out, Susan! Here's an excerpt:
"Sandy Bruce, an Atlanta grandmother of a boy on the autism spectrum, is helping to change [social skills learning] by founding a specialized improv program called Shenanigans. Bruce describes Shenanigans as a community-based program of applied theater that uses the techniques of improv to recognize and identify social cues through body language, facial expressions and voice. In addition to learning specific social skills, children in the program often discover they have a great sense of humor as they get a chance to lose their rigidity and tap into their creativity. They use their bodies in new and expressive ways and they get to be part of a group of individuals like them, forming friendships around a shared activity."
Alison Ratner, LCSW - is a Spectrum Arts partner and advisor to our programs. Alison also facilitates our "Improv Therapy" class - a more structured and targeted approach to social skills learning that uses the games and exercises of improvisational acting to instigate therapeutic conversation. See our winter schedule for class details.
Music Therapy Services of Greater Atlanta - Beth Hampshire, NMT, MT-BC, is a new partner and therapist on our team. She will be conducting pre-K classes in musical expression and movement. While tapping into your child's inner musician, these hands-on classes will also promote awareness of self and others through engaging and creative movement experiences. Details are in the winter schedule.
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