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The mission of Tellin' Tales Theatre is to shatter barriers between the disabled and able-bodied worlds through the transformative power of personal story. We bring together children and adults from both communities to share their stories in theatrically innovative productions and programs to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance.
The award-winning Tellin’ Tales Theatre (TTT) in Chicago exists to create a bridge between children and adults with disabilities and those without through the nurturing and innovative theatrical performances of people’s personal stories. This is achieved working in collaboration with the theatre community, hospitals, schools, and educators. A key goal is to bring together diverse populations while helping them recognize commonalities and build a strong sense of community.
Telling or writing a story about one’s life experiences improves physical and mental health. It educates, inspires and builds rapport with the listener. For many patients and people with life-long disabilities, telling or writing their story is what helps them to cope and thus improve their overall well-being, confidence and sense of acceptance in the community. This is the power of the Tellin’ Tales program.
Now in its seventeenth year, the cornerstone program - Six Stories Up - pairs Chicago middle school children with professional storytelling mentors. Each adult/child team works together for six weeks to write a 10-12 minute theater piece on an assigned theme. The entire group comes together to weave the pieces into a full-length show with costumes, original music and choreography. The show is performed for two weekends at a professional theater (in November).
The company’s Artistic Director and co-founder, Tekki Lomnicki, is a business and theater professional, also with a disability, who is deeply rooted in the disabled community. She and her team of volunteers apply their nationally recognized talents to bridge the gap between the two worlds through workshops, training, mentoring and performances that engage all and are accessible to all. Tekki is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance. She was presented with the Dan Van Hecke Award for leadership in the community in 2014.
- Judy Bergh
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