Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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U.Va. Department of Drama to Present Musical Drama About Childhood Autism

What does the world sound like to an autistic child?

On Sunday and Monday at 7 p.m. at the Helms Theatre in the Drama Building on the University of Virginia’s Arts Grounds, audiences can glimpse that world during workshop performances of the musical, “Max Understood.”

“Max Understood” is an invitation into the life of a 7-year-old boy with autism. As Max embarks on an odyssey beyond the confines of his parents’ apartment, his unique perspective reveals the beauty and mystery of the world around him. Paving the way is a leaf-blowing philosopher, a string theorist, Pegasus, a mermaid and all the presidents of the United States.

The musical involves seven actors and was created with sound design that’s integral to the music and script.

Co-authored by Nancy Carlin, playwright and acting teacher, and Michael Rasbury, an associate professor in the Department of Drama, part of U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences, the play has been the focus of a workshop in Rasbury’s drama and sound design class this semester.

Carlin and Charlie Otte, an associate professor of integrated media for live performance at the University of Texas at Austin, have been artists-in-residence in the drama department for the past month, supported through the Office of the Vice Provost for the Art’s Arts Enhancement Fund.

The workshop performances are free and open to the public. Admission is first-come, first-served.

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