A creative arts project which serves as a model for community integration through the arts.
Established fine artist and therapist Carmelina Mosher developed a unique Expressive Drama program that for over 25 years now, has engaged wide and diverse participation throughout the state of Connecticut.
Due to a widespread interest in having this and other expressive arts programs available to those with special needs (Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum, etc.), Carmelina and arts/human services colleagues Jarrod Law and Dianne Pacl formed the Play with Grace arts project, which serves this community of extraordinary people (some of whom are nonverbal). Having seen the considerable value that expressive drama holds for its participants, the team introduced "Taking Flight" Expressive Drama as the first in the Play with Grace program offerings.
This innovative drama program provides participants a unique opportunity to discover a new set of interests and talents, and to build skills and self-confidence. Our mentor and participant partnerships encourage individuals to learn from and support one another in their personal and collective goals.
The spacious and attractive Whitney Center theater in Hamden serves as a safe and inspiring environment for all of our actors, singers, dancers, artists and technicians.
In this theatrical arena, among fellow creative souls, miracles happen!
Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been, and there
you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci
Play with Grace's Expressive Drama program, "Taking Flight," presents an opportunity for you to experience firsthand the excitement of the theater.
Throughout this 12-week program you will create as part of a team, an original theatrical production, culminating in a performance before a live audience.
We will experiment with improvisation, mime, role-playing and theater techniques. We will play simple movement games and explore personal space through mirroring and balance.
We will work with real life experience, creative imagination and fantasy to create characters, settings and plots...with music and dance integrated throughout. Whether our production is a tragedy, comedy, romance or mystery, your own unique and valuable contributions will be appreciated by all.
“Songs of Life” Music Development Workshop & Performance
Musicians, Mentors and Participants come together to create original pieces of music that capture each participant’s dreams, ideas, philosophies and/or personal messages to the world.
Participants are given the opportunity to assist in the development of the music (melody), song concept, and/or the writing of the lyrics. Dance or movement can accompany the song as the participant prefers, with choreographic suggestions from the directors, musicians, mentors and other participants. The degree to which a participant is involved in the creative process is determined by his/her level of interest and comfort.
Our work together over the 12 weeks culminates in an on-stage choral performance. Each participant presents his/her song along with select musician(s); and the performance may be enhanced (if scripted) with voice and dance by the rest of the Play with Grace Players. Many of these original songs will again be performed in the Fall session of “Taking Flight” Expressive Drama.
Workshop Location: Whitney Center Cultural Arts Center, 200 Leeder Hill Road, Hamden, CT
Participant Tuition: $400 (partial scholarships may be available)
Former participants have been happy to share some of the benefits they've experienced through their involvement with Play with Grace.
Enhanced Communication Skills
Greater Ability to Form Relationships
Acquisition of Tools for Cooperation, Self-Control, Stress Reduction
More Varied Forms of Emotional Expression
Increased Abilities with Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, Risk-Taking, Perseverence
Increased Memory, Concentration, Coordination
Greater Level of Confidence and Social Awareness
Enhanced Enjoyment in Life...
Each participant will identify personal goals and can select tasks and roles of interest within the program:
Advertising (Wavelength Graphics)
Songs of Life Original Music Performance
June 14, 2014
Whitney Center Theatre
200 Leeder Hill Road
Songs of Life term begins
April 1, 3:30-5:30
March 25, 3:30-5:30
In The News
The New Haven Register
Play with Grace
Published on Jul 27, 2012
"Taking Flight" Expressive Drama
Participants learn about the theater and about themselves. They create original characters and scenes, bringing to the stage their dreams, ideas, philosophies and personal messages to the world. Mentors and staff support each participant in the development of the main and supporting characters, scene choreography, the creation, design and selection of original music, costumes and props. Our work together culminates in a performance, where friends and family can witness the miracles of our work together.
"Taking Flight" Theater Location
200 Leeder Hill Road
Play with Grace OFFICE
57 Olive Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Donations can be made to our fiscal intermediary:
Partnership for Connecticut Cities, Inc.