The East End Special Players is a theater arts program for adults with learning disabilities -- among them Downs Syndrome, autism, bi-polar, hearing and sight loss, and a host of other physical and mental challenges -- yet what they achieve on stage is often astounding. Our program provides for an underserved population not only a chance to create through thought provoking theater, but to create a new and vital place for themselves in our community.
What began as a Saturday recreational program in 1990 has blossomed into a theatrical wonder. Over the years, the players have made dramatic strides in excellence finding within themselves skills they never knew they had. At the start, they performed only in mime but soon moved onto demanding plays requiring language skills and memorization such as Cyrano de Bergerac and Moliere’s Scams of Scapin. Still later they tackled improvisational theater constructing the plays around their own lives, loves, ambitions and challenges.
It takes two years for the players to mount a play and currently we are planning to premier their latest effort in the fall of 2019. This is a very special production as the players have written the play themselves creating a wonderfully colorful and madcap comedy.
Funds are needed immediately for the fall production and the extra staffing it takes to mount a play. For example, there must be 1 helper for every 2 players backstage during a performance and there are 30 players . Transporting the players is one of our biggest expenses. The troupe has performed at the governor’s mansion in Albany, at the French Institute in New York, Dowling College, our local East End theatrical venues and in all area high schools.
The funds we raise will insure that the troupe can stay together for another year in this increasing difficult time for regional organizations such as ours to raise the necessary expenses. When you watch our video you will see the joy and sense of accomplishment the players gain from creating and performing. Those of us to work to keep EESP thriving sincerely hope you will find this worthy of your support. We applaud you for your generosity and we hope you will agree with our philosophy. "In the arts there are no disabilities ... only abilities!"