Box: Contact Deidre Mercer at (586) 263-8702 to purchase tickets for $10 each. People with Disabilities are admitted free.By JERRY WOLFFE
The MORC Players, who received a $2,600 grant, will present the innovative play, “Magic Journeys: Where Imagination is King and Dreams Come True!” at 7 p.m. June 23 at the Troy Community Center.
It is the second year the 20 or so MORC Players have performed a play to showcase the creative abilities of people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
“We are hoping to get people from Oakland and Macomb counties to come in and be surprised by the level of enthusiasm and talent this program, “Magic Journeys,” will demonstrate,” said Lou Fazzini, the executive director and Founder of “All the World’s a Stage.”
The MORC Players received the $2,600 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Anton Center in Mount Clemens before the players started practicing in April, Fazzini said.
“You give them a costume and they are just so happy to be part of an acting ensemble,” Fazzini said. “They find the good in everything.”
The first play last fall was such a success, he said. “It gave them an opportunity to do something that they probably haven’t had the chance to do before in their lives.”
This is a good thing for these performers on a number of levels, said Fazzini. “It creates an environment of safety and acceptance. It’s therapeutic.”
Before practicing for the play on Tuesdays for the past few months, the individuals attended a regular class on how to manage anger. “Then they come and perform and the disruptive behavior disappears and each person learns to be part of the ensemble and it’s a give-and-take relationship,” said volunteer instructor Deirdre Mercer.
“The MORC Players are so giving and have such empathy,” said Fazzini. “They have troubles but I have never seen a group of people who are so genuinely honest and appreciative.”
The play is not scripted but is an actor’s showcase. The actors/actresses are going to present and demonstrate acting skills they’ve learned. “We worked a lot on nonverbal and pantomime skills and some of the performance will get the audience involved to try and guess what someone is trying to show or be through pantomime.
Our troupe members do something very creative, not the standard way; they think out of the box and based on last year’s pilot performance everyone has a good time and grows closer and the audience sees performers, not people with disabilities.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence, advocate-at-large at the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at (586) 263-8950.