Art by Students with Disabilities on Display at Footlighters Theater

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It’s the intertwining of works by two very different groups of artists: accomplished thespians who express a varied palette of emotions on the stage and students diagnosed with autism who communicate their feelings on canvas. 

On Sunday, March 4th, Footlighters Theater, the Main Line’s oldest community theater, will host an art reception featuring paintings created by students at The Melmark School.  The reception will follow the theater’s production of Wizard of Oz and will give members of the public a refreshed view of art through the eyes of children with autism.

Footlighters Theater is located at 58 Main Ave. in Berwyn.  Its performance of Wizard of Oz begins at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 4th.  During intermission, audience members will be able to view the artists’ paintings and learn more about Melmark.  Immediately following the performance, the public is invited to stay for an art reception, where they can meet the children and adults served by Melmark.

Tickets for the show are $17 online and $15 (cash only) at the theater box office.

Melmark’s Traveling Art Show will remain on display at Footlighters throughout the month of March.  The display includes nearly twenty pieces, each created by students who love to show off their abilities in the art room.  The artists range in age from ten years old to twenty-one, and their artistic techniques are just as diverse as their ages.  Jack, for instance, prefers to draw with oil pastels before applying layers of tape and paint to create artwork that emits energy.  Davie loves to get messy in the art room, and Mike, usually quiet and reserved, buzzes with energy as he mixes paint and magazine clippings to create beautiful collages.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their abilities with members of the Main Line Community,” said Joanne Gillis-Donovan, Ph.D., Melmark’s President and CEO. “Having the support of Footlighters Theater is demonstrative of the organization’s commitment to giving back to the community.”

"Connecting our community to the arts is key to our mission as a non-profit theater and having the opportunity to connect our audiences to the wonderful artwork done by the Melmark students aligns perfectly with that goal," said Footlighters President, Kirk Paul.  "The whole Footlighters family is happy for the opportunity to work with Melmark to help raise awareness of the great work they do in our region." 

Footlighters Theater is pleased to present Artwork by Melmark Students, on view before and immediately following performances March 4th through March 29th. For more information please visit www.footlighterstheater.com or contact the gallery at (610) 296-9245.

About Melmark
Melmark, based in Berwyn, PA and with a location in Andover, MA, provides residential, educational, vocational and therapeutic services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, develop-mental disabilities, acquired brain injuries and other neurological and genetic disorders.  Melmark’s programs and services are offered in an environment of warmth, care and respect.  To learn more, visit www.melmark.org .

About Footlighters Theater

Founded in 1929, Footlighters Theater is the Main Line’s oldest community theater providing premier theater arts productions for the region. Footlighters is celebrating its 83rd season in 2011-2012 with a seven-show season of plays including two musicals in our intimate 110-seat historical converted church that dates back to 1888. We are committed to both producing outstanding productions and the education of our community in the theatrical arts. We are a 501c3 non-profit entity and welcome individual and corporate partnerships by those persons and companies that wish to promote arts in our community.


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