Winter whodunit perfect for families with special needs

If you go

Where: Athenaeum Theatre

When: Dec. 9-18, 2016

Cost: , students



When Tellin’ Tales Theatre started its annual Six Stories Up mentoring program for middle school students with special needs, Artistic Director Tekki Lomnicki says she had no idea how much of an impact it would have on people. But she says she witnesses the impact at every rehearsal and every show, as students with and without special needs find a safe place that helps them find out where they fit in.

This year’s show, Six Stories Up in a Snowstorm, is particularly special, she says.

The winter musical whodunit is about an adaptive ski trip in Utah at a chalet plagued by an abominable snow beast. As the kids try to solve the mystery and melt the beast’s heart, they share personal stories of overcoming differences.

“It not only warms my hearts, it makes me see how stories can really can save our lives and connect us in ways we don’t even know until we share our stories with each other,” Lomnicki says.The actors, who have special needs including cerebral palsy, autism, blindness, dwarfism and mental illness, have been working together and with their mentors with and without special needs since August.

“It makes me see how valid this work is,” she says.

Expect top quality, professional theater that is affordable for the family, she says, adding she doesn’t give any of her actors or set makers a pass to not do their best just because they have special needs. This year’s show has no loud sound effects or super scary scenes, making it more comfortable for those with sensory issues.

When you go, give a special cheer for the therapy dog, a Siberian husky.

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