Theater for Social Success is a program designed to provide a socially-rewarding recreational activity in a mutually-supportive environment while also teaching our students how fundamental acting techniques can help them understand and operate within the complex and shifting social situations that arise in their daily lives. In brief, we are giving our students tools to take an analytical approach to situations other children will tend to approach intuitively.

By bringing together students with similar deficits in an environment that is not typically clinical, we provide a fun, challenging, structured, interactive activity in which they can participate without fear of teasing, rejection or ridicule. Throughout the session, the group is encouraged to work together to create and follow rules of behavior that make for a safe, respectful environment that encourages open exchange of ideas and the taking of social risks.

Early activities focus on developing the students' awareness of the actor's tools at their disposal: facial expression, body language and vocal tone. The curriculum for these sessions is designed to get students thinking actively about how they can use these tools to send messages about what they are thinking and feeling and to practice reading the messages others are sending them. We also work extensively on using non-verbal communication to facilitate cooperative play. Cooperative games are used to develop students' ability to think about shared imaginative experiences as a way to understand the perspective of others. Later activities develop ideas about noticing and responding to social context and matching choices of words and actions to the expectations of a range of social environments. Programs are offered for students of all ages.