“Dragons are the keepers of the flame to be shared with every creature.”
– Leslie Levengood, author of Harm None: A Dragon Anthology
Dragon Theatre Productions is a completely community-inclusive theater program that welcomes anyone willing to make the performance commitment to have the opportunity to perform, regardless of race, age, disability, orientation, or income. The scripts are adapted to showcase the unique talents and abilities of the performers in a fun and cooperative environment. This creates a true community theater setting that gives all interested members of the community the experience of working in live theater, some of whom may have been excluded from working in competitive theater opportunities.
Since 2009, Dragon Theatre Productions has created roles for over 114 actors in five, full-length theatrical presentations, and has provided opportunities for over 139 volunteers to participate creatively offstage. In January 2011, Dragon Theatre Productions became a program of Imagination Celebration to continue to grow and provide additional opportunities for community members to participate in live, professional, local theatre.
The casting model for community-inclusive theatre is different from that of a typical competitive production, because it enables the director to cast toward showcasing each performer’s ability as opposed to screening out performers based on their deficits for the role. Also, by guaranteeing roles in the production, entire families are encouraged to participate in the show together. Parents and children, siblings, cousins have all worked onstage together through this unique community-inclusive theatre model, including one family with three generations (grandparent, mother and son). When families or friends audition, they are often cast together to allow them to rehearse at the same time.
Theater really is a collaborative effort, and Dragon Theater Productions strives to make all aspects of the production accessible and fun so that any interested member of the community can participate creatively, both onstage and off. Each year, Dragon Theater Productions has organized a series of open prop and costume workshops, where community members, actors, and families can help.
“The participants can get so much from the experience. It builds character, confidence, appreciation for other’s needs, and hey! It’s fun!” – Linda Scott
“Sharing, caring, acceptance, recognition, and respect are the norm across-the-board. In a world that often shuns or avoids people who are not like them, our program continues to build a much-needed bridge.” – Cindy Whittington, Costume Director
“Being in the play was great for him, but more importantly, it was a chance for him to be able to be around all types of people. He asked me a lot of questions about [Marie] that first rehearsal and was a bit scared and hesitated to talk to her. On Friday, he ran out to her car and helped wheel her into the school and laughed and talked with her. He got to see how she read with Braille. He had become fast friends with her. This play was great because we all bonded with each other and cared about each other and had a great time during rehearsals and backstage during the play.” Lori Breford, Josh’s mom (age 8)