Project Spotlight is a program started in the beginning of 2017, which teaches improvisation and public speaking skills to individuals with Down syndrome.
Our goal is to build communication, public speaking, presenting, and quick-thinking skills that will expand social and workplace opportunities for each individual, and yes, maybe even find some budding comedians or create the world's first all DS Improv Troupe!
IMPROV NINJA WORKSHOPS
Our improv ninja workshops are designed to teach the individuals how to think quickly on their feet, work within a group, be creative, and communicate effectively to large groups or audiences. Each workshop is designed to challenge the skillset of each individual regardless of their abilities. We believe improvisation can be effective for all adults with Down syndrome and the workshops are designed with that thinking in mind.
We will be developing and honing the improv techniques, drills, and games that work best for those with Down syndrome so that they can learn and succeed in the best possible way. There are three levels an improviser can achieve - RED BELT(Beginner), GREEN BELT(Intermediate), BLACK BELT(Actual Show Development and Performance).
In March of 2018, we will be entering the Green Belt phase of the program at Weathervane Theatre in Akron, OH. We will cast 8-10 individuals who will begin weekly improvisation classes and commit to becoming the first all Down syndrome Improv Troupe! These classes will run for 8 weeks per session, and we anticipate 4-5 sessions before culmination in a full 2 hour sketch and improv production. We anticipate the full production for late 2018 or early 2019.
PUBLIC SPEAKING SEMINARS
We want those with Down syndrome to be able to speak to groups and large audiences with ease, confidence, and humor. Our goal in 2018 is to create seminars and workshops in key areas around the country to teach public speaking skills. We will also be teaching the parents how to better manage and prepare for these speeches. It's important that the parents/managers can convey the needs of the individual to the event organizers, understand the technical elements, promotion, fees, and other items to make sure the speaking opportunity is a success.
We will work with each individuals abilities to find the best ways they can express themselves. Our team will utilize techniques from comics as well as trained speech therapists to help build these skills.
Our first seminar will be a 4 hour workshop at the National Down Syndrome Congress Conference in Dallas, TX on July 13th, 2018.
Our goal is to create the playbook for both teaching improvisation and public speaking, then work with various Down syndrome organizations nationally to expand our ability to teach the programs. This will entail training trainers in different states that adopt the program. We will also be hosting one to several retreats and seminars to gain several days of training and knowledge on improvisation and stand-up comedy.
Please check back soon for our updated schedule of classes and locations.
Click below for a video of our first workshop and our feature on Fox8's New Day Cleveland show.
Fox8's New Day Cleveland