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Theatre Troupe Gives People With Disabilities A Creative Venue

Brian Bull

A theatre troupe for people with disabilities kicks off its latest show Friday night in Cottage Grove.

The inspiration for “Creative Chaos” came when its founder, Carmen Dowell, watched a friend with Downs Syndrome get turned away from an audition ten years ago.

Talking recently on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” program, Dowell says she accommodates performers’ needs and interests as much as she can when crafting a show.

“We do a couple group dances," says Dowell. "One of the gentlemen who is non-verbal, I just kinda hold his hand and we do some magic with the audience members.

"I just try to figure out how I can get the best out of each of them, shown in the play.”

Dowell says the next production, “Under the Big Top” opens at 7pm Friday night, at the Opal Center for Arts and Education in Cottage Grove.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.