New Theater Experience Ready to Launch

Thirty-eight very special actors have created a very special interactive virtual theater experience focused on helping families with kids of all ages have fun together.

A.B.L.E. Anthology includes eight new video stories created and acted by ensemble members, ages 15-36, with Down syndrome, autism and other developmental disabilities who have been working since fall on the effort. The livestreams of the shows begin Dec. 4, but the stories will be available to watch anytime online.

Rather than sitting passively and watching the stories on screen, A.B.L.E. actors will encourage viewers to get up and become part of the story. In other words, to have as much fun as the actors are having.

“We all need a little bit of fun, it’s been a rough year,” says Katie Yohe, executive artistic director at A.B.L.E. – Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations. She says she also hopes the stories help viewers see and appreciate people with disabilities in a different light and appreciate their creativity and strengths.

While all of the stories are very different from each other, she says, they all have a special lesson in them.

Throughout the stories, viewers will interact with the tale, such as grabbing a flashlight they have at home to go on a night adventure or putting on “space goggles” for a trip to the moon. The actors serve as narrator, helping encourage and guide the interaction.

Each ticket also gives families access to a downloadable activity packet that includes at least one craft, games and coloring pages, as well as a list of items to track down at home.

While the pandemic has forced the ensemble to pivot, Yohe says there have been some upsides; the actors worked with guest artists virtually from all over the world who helped inspire some of the stories in the Anthology.


The lineup

Friday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.: Premieres of Chloe the Waterpower Space Cat and Mavis and the Missing Musical Mayor

Sunday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m.: Premieres of The Ballad of a Community Hero and The Chronicles of Sally Marcelline Frankenstein

Monday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.: Premieres of The Story of Charlie Devil-Jansen and 2021: A Space Odyssey

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.: Premieres of The Forgotten Memories of Aldis Radinaher and The Famous Artist Kingdom of Mal Bublé

Tickets at are pay what you can or suggested donation $5 per viewer. The stories will live on this site if you can’t attend the live stream dates and times.

Story Kits are available until Dec. 1. The kits, $50, include home delivery and all of the sensory items and craft supplies needed to interact with the event. It includes a $25 donation to A.B.L.E.

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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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