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'Autism Isn't Something to Fear': How to Dance in Ohio Is Breaking Grounds in Autistic Representation

Playbill News

Something remarkable is afoot at the Belasco Theatre.

For the first time, a company led by openly autistic actors is coming to Broadway in How to Dance in Ohio, a heartfelt coming-of-age musical that follows seven young autistic adults as they prepare for the spring formal dance.

Adapted from the award-winning 2015 documentary of the same name, the musical, which was once championed by Hal Prince, begins previews November 15 and will open December 10. Featuring direction by Sammi Cannold, music by Jacob Yandura, and a book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, the new musical is an idiosyncratic jewel designed to display the multifaceted reality of existing in the world as an autistic individual. 

All seven actors playing attendees of the dance are autistic themselves, a monumental achievement considering that autistic characters have never before been played by openly autistic actors on Broadway. Unlike many properties, which flatten the autistic experience into an easily digestible and palatable stereotype for neurotypical consumption, How to Dance in Ohio showcases the diversity within autistic identity—how it intersects with race and gender expression, as well as physical disability...READ MORE



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