Making Light Productions
Making Light Productions, a Tallahassee, Florida, based nonprofit corporation has two primary goals: high quality inclusive theatre arts education for children of all abilities; and
jobs and community for adults with disabilities.
MLP offers both private and group classes in voice, piano, guitar, percussion violin, acting, art, and musical theatre to all ages. Our facility at 355 N. Monroe St. allows us to have several theatre companies so we can accommodate all experience levels and stage several productions per year.
Making Light Productions centers around an inclusive theatre arts program for kids of all abilities: music, art, dance and theatre. Inclusive means that kids of all abilities learn together. A 2005 Vanderbilt University Study concludes that theatre programs help kids with autism learn to recognize faces, play in groups and communicate with others. And “typical” kids never have to be taught that kids with special needs make great friends and have remarkable contributions to bring to a group. They’ve experienced that for themselves.
Many arts programs require a level of independent functioning that might not be possible for all kids with disabilities if a parent or therapist needs to attend a music lesson, theatre rehearsal or dance class with them. Making Light Productions’ open door policy encourages parent and therapist involvement with our FDLE-screened staff.
Including everyone does not mean you have to sacrifice the quality of the arts education. In fact, in 2016 and 2017, Making Light Director Mandi Broadfoot led an inclusive musical theatre team to national gold and high gold medals at the Access Broadway competitions in New York City and Orlando. Team members with autism received some of highest scores for vocal performance.
We plan to offer an after-school program that serves children of all abilities and offers a rotation of music, art, dance and theatre classes. Camp and after-school will have a ratio of at least two adults per 20 children at all times.
We also plan to open a thrift store, “Making a Scene,” where second-hand items such as clothing, household décor, books and other miscellaneous goods can be purchased. This endeavor will provide the bulk of the jobs for adults with disabilities – from operating the cash register to receiving and sorting donations for the store.
We will build a community where our employees have more than a job – they have a support network. Through the performing arts school, thrift store and a potential movie house, they will be surrounded by a village of supporters. Parents of children with disabilities worry an inordinate amount about their children’s future and what will happen when parents are no longer around. Having a place where people with disabilities can not only work, but also build friendships and feel valued, is at the core of our mission.