MEET YOUR SEAT: Performing Arts Accessibility for Audiences on the Autism Spectrum

Masters thesis paper prepared for Drexel University Arts Administration Graduate Program

This thesis encourages theaters to develop productions for children on the autism
spectrum and their families. Interviews with potential audience members and an analysis
of recent sensory-friendly performances demonstrate that an accessible show, with slight
modifications to the production and circumstances, can enrich the audience’s social and
emotional life while allowing theaters to form a relationship with a new constituency.
Theaters should plan a sensory-friendly show in accordance with a mission to provide
experiences for diverse sectors of the community and to offer quality accessible
productions for an otherwise neglected audience. Administrators must recognize that the
program’s financial profitability is unlikely to match the investment made by the theater
to produce it. Interested theaters can follow their predecessors’ guidelines and
suggestions, making a commitment to serve the autism community and treating this
programming as an integral part of their overall program planning process, rather than as
an audience development tool.

BEING VERY CAREFUL: Gertrude Stein’s Narrative Constructions of Self-Identification

Undergraduate senior thesis paper prepared for Bryn Mawr College Department of English

In The World Is Round and Ida, Gertrude Stein pairs storytelling with the construction of
identity, showing the ongoing relationship between the formal elements of a story and their creation. These books feature characters for whom self-identification becomes not only a quest within the story but also a gesture toward Stein’s authorial control and toward the false nature of any constructed character. As a commentary on the power of storytelling – the power both to create a character and to play out that character’s conscious attempts at controlling her identity – Stein’s continuous coupling of a narrative and the process of its creation results in work that demonstrates its own formation, telling the story of how a story about self-telling tells itself.