Hi everyone! Its me Theresa and I am having an amazing time as an Improvaneer cast member! This is the first ever Improv group with young adults with Down syndrome. I love performing on stage with my new friends as we learn Improv and life skills. Please help us reach our goals to perform locally and at national conferences.
Thanks so much
Stand Up For Downs wrote:
We get it, you've been asked by everyone remotely close to you to give some money to a great cause. First off, you should. It feels amazing to help out. Secondly, if you're not already committed somewhere else, or can share the love a bit, please consider SUFD and our Improvaneers program!
SUFD was created in 2013 with the goal of enhancing the lives of those with Down syndrome through humor. We did pretty well and took on a platform of raising money producing comedy events. In the first four years, we raised over $400,000 and donated almost 75% of that to various organizations committed to a similar goal.
In 2017, we had a new idea! We would use comedy, or specifically, improvisation to build skills in those with Down syndrome that could greatly improve workplace and social opportunities. We began a monthly class and quickly realized that improvisation was teaching very valuable skills like building self-confidence, thinking quickly on their feet, communication enhancements like eye contact and voice projection, and the ability to solve problems.
We then decided to double-down and cast the WORLD'S FIRST ALL-DS IMPROV TROUPE - THE IMPROVANEERS! We auditioned over 25 individuals and cast a group of 10 amazing pioneers who take a 2 hour class once per week with us at Weathervane Theatre in Akron. The IMPROVANEERS were born! In the first 6 months of the program, the group has amazed us in more ways than we could ever have imagined.
We will continue to teach this group for a full year, then put on a BIG show for the general public. Following that, the group will continue training and we will cast a new group to follow in their footsteps.
The overall goal is to take everything we have learned and studied throughout this program and write the "curriculum" for this so that other Down syndrome organizations around the country can benefit from improvisation. This will include creating the book, along with an educational web series, and marketing of the program nationally. We are also working with film makers to help us create a documentary around this amazing journey.
Here's the big ask! After 5 years of rasing money and giving it away to incredible and worthy organizations, we now find ourselves in need of funds to continue our exciting program. So how will we use the money:
- Writing, printing, publishing the book
- Cost for rehearsal space and paying of director and part-time staff
- Promotional costs and advertising
- Travel costs for performances
- Documentary and production costs
- Other costs to continue running the charity
We can't believe the effects this has had on this cast, and we can't wait to share it with the world.
We truly hope you consider helping us out financially in any way you are able as we continue to grow and build this incredible program!