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Next Stage 
Comedy Troupe  
The Center for Applied Drama and Autism is pleased to announce a new project which is a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council ArtsNEXT* grant for innovative and experimental programming.

The Next Stage Comedy Project will provide an opportunity for a group of ten to fifteen actors with autism/disabilities to form an online comedy troupe as a pilot program for our 2021-2022 season. Under the guidance of Ruben Ryan, a professional comedian and improv artist and John Lynch, a former student with autism and now a teacher for CADA, these individuals will be selected via auditions and interviews to develop material, rehearse and perform.  The troupe will also meet with guest artists to further their writing, collaborating and performing skills throughout the fall.  Their first performance will be a comedy showcase in early December 2021.  From January through May of 2022, the troupe will present monthly comedy shows online for which they will receive stipends for each performance.

Troupe members will also learn the practical aspects of forming a comedy troupe. They will take turns in the roles of stage manager, technical director, and will also learn basic marketing and advertising techniques. The troupe will also develop a YouTube presence and will learn the essential aspects of developing revenue streams from online performing.

CADA is very grateful for the support from the arts council and our state legislators! The theatre company is currently planning a variety of fun and entertaining ways the public can help us match this grant to fund the Comedy Troupe’s first year!  


*The ArtsNEXT program provides competitive funding for innovative and experimental projects. Awards support big ideas that push boundaries, engage participants in unexpected ways, pilot new solutions to challenging problems, improve program design with calculated risk-taking, or result in the creation of new work. These forward-looking projects help define Ohio as an exciting, cutting- edge place to make, consume, and experience the arts.

Above:  the troupe warming up at their first rehearsal.

Below:  Playing Hitchhiker