Performance Generates Autism Awareness
By Shelby Bosell
On April 28, the play “Theory of Mind” came to Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Cambridge campus. This play was performed with the goal of opening minds to what it’s like to have autism.
One in 45 children, ages three through 17, has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. To diagnose individuals with autism, there is a book called the DSM5 and this book has the criteria of being on the spectrum.
The playwrights of “Theory of Mind” both have children who are on the spectrum, and that is why they write plays about autism. The soul mission of their plays is to educate people and help to show awareness.
“I have to think about everything before I do it, it’s called the theory of mind.” This line from the play demonstrated how many people do things automatically, but that people with autism have to think about it.
“I can hear the music, but I’m not a part of the concert.” Another quote from the play, this is how a lot of people with autistic feel about life. It is hard for them to communicate with others. According to the play, people with autism tend to be very honest because they see things most people don’t, and they say things most people are afraid to say.
To prepare the actors for their roles, a therapist visited them to talk about the DSM5 and about how people with autistic behave. The male actor had grown up with a cousin who was on the autistic spectrum, which helped him when playing the role. The female actor had read a lot about autism and rehearsed her role quite a bit.
The Mix Blood Theatre, who produced this play, visits middle and high schools to perform and spread the word about autism. “Theory of Mind” is making an impact in the world and it will only continue to touch people’s hearts while spreading awareness.