Helping those with disabilty create and discover beauty in movement

Partner's for Youth with Disabilities showcases a new production featuring expression through movement.

Access to Theater - Beautiful Moves

In a recent production, Maureen Finnerty, the Movement Director for Partner's for Youth with Disabilities Access to Theater Program, shows individuals with physical disability how to express themselves through movement. The performance focuses less on the audience enjoyment and more on the development and personal experience of the performer. While audience members typically assume that the performance is just about disability, there is a much deeper significance behind the action onstage:

“'People [are] looking at them, but now it’s for the right reasons.' Indeed, for Maureen the real reward is seeing how the attitudes of the performers change about themselves. The audience’s misinterpretation of the performance’s intent is negligible. '[The students] come away with a different idea about what the pathways for people with disabilities are,' she explains, 'the audience will have their own perspective on the performance, and they will have their own perspective on my disability.'"

While her only knowledge of movement prior to working for the organization was through prior physical therapy, she used this knowledge as a tool for self-expression and helped others and herself realize that there was beauty in these movements that they once found painful. She gives her performers no background or character that they should portray, and instead allows them to define and experiment with who they are in their performance. 

"'And the end result? 'The parents always cry. I don’t get it,' she laughs."

Read the full review posted by the Massachusetts Cultural Council on their blog Seen & Heard  

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