Our Mission:   We inspire the growth and empowerment of diverse individuals on the autism spectrum through theatre-based programming.

Our Vision: We imagine a world where our diverse community unites to celebrate and advocate for a more inclusive future so people of all abilities can choose to navigate the stage and the world effectively.


Center for Applied Drama and Autism
& Theatre on the Spectrum

​Working with puppets in All the World's a Stage 
class for youth.
A scene from Mario's New Friend, a play 
by Samir Hammoud.
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Brandon and his rabbit puppet leading a Zoom class
scene from Mario's New Friend showing actors in their zoom boxes
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The Forgotten Dead, viewable at this link, is a documentary by Joshua Gippins. 

Schneider Park in Akron seems like your typical family-friendly park. What local residents who enjoy the park may not realize, though, is how many bodies—and secrets—are buried beneath their feet.

From the mid-19th to early 20th century, this green space was the cemetery attached to the county poorhouse, which housed elderly and disabled people of that era. To tell this story, a local theater troupe of actors with disabilities reenacts what life would have been like for them back then. THE FORGOTTEN DEAD strives to memorialize those who were marginalized in life, and forgotten in death, by challenging us all to rethink our perceptions of the people all around us living today with disabilities.

The production was created by Josh Gippin of Joshua Tree Productions in collaboration with University of Akron students and Theatre on the Spectrum. This project was made possible by University of Akron’s EXL Center, which partners students with businesses in the community to gain hands-on experience in their fields. Gippin was brought on as a visiting professor for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters and worked with students from the Anthropology Department and School of Communication, plus ZTV students and a few students from the School of Art, School of Music and the Marketing Department. This offered the students a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration. Premiered in 2020.
The Forgotten Dead, featuring Theatre on the Spectrum
 Now Showing on PBS Western Reserve Channels 45/49
movie poster for The Forgotten Dead
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Our work is brought to you in part by the generosity of the following organizations: