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The core of A.B.L.E.’s programs are performance ensembles for teens and adults with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Over the course of a semester, actors meet for weekly 90-minute rehearsals to hone their personal performance skills and develop the social skills necessary to contribute constructively to a group. Our ensembles have collaborated to create original plays devised by the cast, Shakespearean classics, one-of-a-kind feature films, and digital stories. Actors can share their imaginations with audiences, and claim ownership over stories which have not traditionally been “for” them.  Watch some of our past projects here.

All sessions are structured to accommodate multiple learning and communication styles by incorporating a range of visual aids, sign language, and sensory tools. Rehearsals are staffed by 2 teaching artists and 3-5 volunteer facilitators for a 2:1 ratio of actors to support. This ensures everyone can enjoy the spotlight!

We offer different levels of engagement to suit actors of various ages and levels of experience:


In the Wings

A play-based 6 week course perfect for new actors or those who want to brush up on the basics. We’ll learn foundational theatre skills and vocabulary, build relationships, and to get to know how A.B.L.E. works! Learn more here.

AGES: 13+




Over the course of a 12-week semester, actors participate side by side with a staff of teaching artists and volunteer facilitators to create a final project shaped by the strengths and interests of the group. Sessions may meet online or in person.

AGES: 15+

PREREQUISITES: At least one semester In the Wings


Ensembles meet for 2 semesters each year. The fall semester runs from late August through November, and registration takes place in July. The spring semester runs from late February through May, and registration takes place in January.