The Entertainment Industry is in a constant state of expansion, just like our universe, and there is a now a new area which it is growing into…
Entertainment should be available to everyone. It is a basic necessity and often is the livelihood of people. However, this basic right is not being given to everyone; this basic want or desire is being snatched away from special children and why? Is it just that there are some things that they may not be good at? Some things that they weren’t meant to do? As a famous person once said, “Everyone is special, and that is what makes them different”.
Special children are capable and as children; they have an urge, an urge to learn, to experience, to falter. These are their basic feelings and they are being taken away from them.
Although there is one institution that agrees with me on this issue and it has inspired many others to do what it has, to help these children realise their dream.
4th Wall Theatre is a mobile theatre company for all abilities. Started in 2012 by Annie Klark and Katie Mann, its goal was to provide more extracurricular activities for those with disabilities. Says Klark, 34, “We met in a theatre for typical children but when students came in with disabilities we were surprised by the lack of support for them. So we decided to make it ourselves.” And make it they have. Just five years later they have 74 locations in Michigan and have serviced over 3,200 students. Their motto has expanded too, “We started off servicing children, but have found that when adults with special needs graduate, they often do not have any social activities either” says Mann, 28. Now, 4th Wall services adults, children, seniors, and those with and without disabilities. “We didn’t start off with the intent to make a therapy,” says Klark, “but it kind of ended up that way.” The skills learned in the theatre classroom translate well to the outside world; teaching the students eye contact, social skills, etc.
To learn more about this institution, here is a video from Katie Mann; one of the founding members-
Here is one of the memorable pieces that the 4th wall has produced; a short dance to hit number ‘Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. In our talks with 4th wall, we found out that this song was used to speak about coping with bad days –
This institution should and will mark the rise of other such institutions which will help in providing to special children. I strongly hope that the 4th Wall continues its fabulous work and that this work is appreciated by us as it is making our future brighter.
Hence to end I would want to say that like the expansion of the universe lets us experience new things and lets us see new horizons; so does the expansion of the entertainment industry. Although the expansion of the universe can end catastrophically, I am fairly certain that the expansion of the entertainment industry, especially in this regard, is solely for the better.