The Constellation Project is the very heart and soul of EDGE of Orion. Everything that we do (all of our workshops, fundraisers, professional shows, etc.) are all with a focus on how we can continue to expand this project and bring musical-based theatre and classes to young people with Down syndrome, friends, peers and you!
What is the Constellation Project?
The Constellation Project started in 2008 by EDGE of Orion. Just as a constellation is made up of various stars – so too are our shows and classes made up of some amazing individuals, each one shining with their own light and brilliance.
EDGE has been partnering with Ups For Downs since 2008! Moreover, EDGE of Orion has been working with children of marginalized communities for several years and has produced over 100 plays with its youth theater groups. EDGE believes in meeting each participant as an individual, determining his or her abilities and capabilities and holding our participants to a standard of excellence at which they can succeed!
What are the goals of The Constellation Project?
Theater is a unique art form. Participation in theater fosters language skills, reading skills and social connections under one unique umbrella. Even more so, participating in a musical sparks a person’s imagination, strengthens their communication skills and instills a sense of discipline, responsibility and dedication. This is never more true than for our marginalized communities of people who struggle daily against being told what they cannot do. EDGE has only one primary focus: stressing to all its participants how very much they are capable of doing.
EDGE of Orion seeks to expand the number of people with special needs and in marginalized communities who will have a chance to participate in theater. EDGE programming provides an opportunity for our participants to test themselves in a safe and supportive environment. By using musicals, EDGE has found that the language and music work together in a unique way to stimulate the minds and hearts of all those participating in our programs. EDGE strongly believes that giving a participant an opportunity to perform elevates his or her status not only in the community but also in their own minds.
The theater program provided by EDGE targets some specific goals:
Social inclusion: We provide the rare opportunity for people with different abilities to work together. EDGE of Orion is not theatre for people with special needs as much as it is theatre for all involved, both typical and nontypical, to see each others as equals.
Self esteem support: It is an incredibly empowering experience to take the stage and to be given the spotlight. EDGE of Orion strongly believes that this sense of worth carries into the individual’s daily life.
Public speaking skills: We all know that public speaking is consistently listed as one of the greatest fears of many adults. EDGE of Orion provides a supportive environment to change this for our youth.
Entertainment: Having fun cannot be discounted as one of EDGE’s primary goals. Everyone needs an opportunity to escape from his or her normal routine and laugh with friends while not taking ourselves too seriously. More than that, EDGE’s theater program provides a few precious hours where caregivers can leave their youth in a safe and loving environment and take some time for themselves.
Fundraiser and awareness opportunities: The unique experience brought by EDGE typically provides a special opportunity for fundraising as well as media awareness.
What is the future of the Constellation Project?
We are so incredibly excited to say that The Constellation Project is EXPANDING! Our current Partners include Ups For Downs in Shaumburg, and M-NASR in Morton Grove with the possibility of several more branches starting fall of 2019.
We are always looking to expand our mission of bringing musical based theatre and classes to marginalized communities. If you are interested in hearing more about us and everything we have to offer, please message Orion Couling at firstname.lastname@example.org.