Acting Without Boundaries

A Unique Theatre Workshop For The Disabled

aka Kids are Kids Disability Awareness Workshop   |   Bryn Mawr, PA   |  www.actingwithoutboundaries.org

Mission

Transforming lives and building self-esteem in an empowering community of people with physical disabilities through theater that celebrates ability by challenging perceptions about people with disabilities and their capabilities, producing professional quality theater in nontraditional ways, teaching performing arts skills through year-round programs and workshops that build confidence on-stage and beyond, creating a community of support for people with physical disabilities and their families, giving back to the community through performances and presentations.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director/Founder

Ms. Christine Rouse

Main address

750 East Haverford Road

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-2827465

NTEE code info

Theater (A65)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (G01)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Society is rampant with misconceptions about individuals with disabilities and thus there is a lack of opportunities for these individuals. AWB focuses on ones ability, not disability. At its core, AWB provides an open forum for the creative and artistic expression of young people with disabilities over the age of four. AWB provides a much needed extracurricular program for children and teens with physical disabilities and is the only program of it's kind in the Greater Philadelphia area. The program enhances participants belief in themselves ultimately increasing their self-esteem through the theatrical arts. It provides a safe place for children with disabilities to feel accepted and included. AWB empowers individuals with disabilities and provides them with opportunities that are not available in general society: to perform and to make a difference by using their performances to challenge society's thoughts and opinions of what individuals with disabilities can achieve.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Acting Without Boundaries, Jr.

The AWB, Jr. program for children with physical disabilities also runs from November to October each year.

The actors meet monthly for a two-hour workshop at The Haverford School conducted by professional music educators. Participants perform on stage and receive training in acting in plays, singing, dancing and various improvisational techniques culminating in a spring performance at the Agnes Irwin School.

Population(s) Served

The AWB program for teens and young adults with physical disabilities begins in November each year. The year culminates in October with a major performance performed for the community.

The actors meet monthly at The Haverford School for a four-hour workshop designed and conducted by professional actors and theater educators.

The actors participate in a week-long summer workshop to prepare and rehearse for the first unveiling of the annual performance for ESF Summer Camps.

In October each year, the actors perform their major production at Centennial Hall at the Haverford School.

In addition to this theatrical work, AWB provides monthly social outings and field trips to local theaters for its actors to experience performances first-hand, and to develop and nurture friendships with fellow AWB actors. In the past, AWB has sponsored outings to the Kimmel Center, the Walnut Street Theater, the Academy of Music and countless movie theaters for actors to experience performances from the markedly different perspective of an audience member and to develop stronger ties with their fellow actors.

AWB also conducts performances at schools, summer camps, retirements homes and hospitals throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to introduce community groups to AWB and to educate on the importance of disability awareness and to emphasize diversity appreciation.

Population(s) Served

A multi-day skill building workshop in the dramatic arts. Program participants are taught by high level industry professionals in the area of script analysis, movement, improv, acting, directing and playwriting.

Population(s) Served

The AWB Acting Lab provides on-site acting classes for people with disabilities at residential care facilities. Classes provided are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of mainstage stage shows and outreach performances

Total number of free seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of seat filled in free outreach performances for community organization

Total number of paid seats filled for performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of tickets bought at mainstage shows for AWB and AWB Jr.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of individuals participating in AWB and AWB Jr.'s monthly workshops and rehearsals. AWB currently has 21 actors in it's Sr. program and 9 actors in the Jr. program.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteers are critical to AWB's programming. Volunteers are utilized at all workshops and performances. They help our actors hold scripts, props, with blocking and line reading during performances.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Acting Without Boundaries, Sr.

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AWB, both Sr. and Jr. groups, is a completely tuition free program to our actors.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Acting Without Boundaries aims to make a difference within the disabled community, providing opportunities for performance and expression by putting on large-scale musicals and performances for individuals with physical disabilities. The organization serves individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, hearing impairment, and visual impairment. Through doing this, AWB aims to reach a wider audience, exposing the ability of individuals with disabilities, hopefully opening their hearts and minds to acceptance and support. AWB also aims to make a difference within the lives of the actors, and the main goals are for participants to gain the following social and intellectual skills:
1. Self-esteem - As the children gain self-confidence standing up in front of a crowd performing, remembering their lines and ultimately presenting with poise. They feel empowered, knowing that their voice and talent can mean something, which builds their self-worth with every performance.
2. Social Reform - AWB performances create social change as audiences become captivated by the actors on stage. This societal evolution helps the community understand that people with physical challenges are complex, unique, talented, and tested like any other child with or without physical limitations. AWB actors harness this power of reform and become outspoken advocates for themselves and their communities/
3. Sense of Belonging - Putting a play together requires all members to work with one another, along with the Creative Director, Musical Director and volunteers that support them on stage. This cooperation at every workshop and performance creates lasting friendships and successful teamwork. The supportive environment at AWB brings collaboration one step further. Participants experience complete acceptance and a feeling of being heard, seen and connected. When outside the AWB community, this experience is rare.
In the long-term, AWB hopes to give voice and provide opportunity to the disabled community, expanding to as many places and people as possible.

Acting Without Boundaries accomplishes their goals by running five programs: AWB Sr., AWB Jr., AWB Master's, AWB Acting Lab and AWB Melodies. By producing 3 main stage performances per year AWB is creating disability awareness. Through these performances, actors are participating in public speaking while performing in front of a crowd. They must memorize lines and remain poised under stress. Allowing them to gain gain confidence and self-esteem. They also must employ attuned listening, relying on the dialogue, cues, and lines of the other participants when practicing and performing the plays. In addition, they use empathy as they play different roles in productions, allowing them to "experience" the life of their character. Each of these aspects of performance contributes to AWB's ultimate goals of improving the individual and developing their skills. Furthermore, monthly workshops and classes with professionals within the theater industry allow for participants to hone their craft, becoming well-versed in acting, music, and even movement. Many of our actors have gone on to perform with other theater companies within professional and academic settings because of their extensive training with AWB. As for community building, AWB hosts several social outings and field trips to local theaters, sports games, and socials. In attending these events, actors and their families become close with one another and develop a community of support and acceptance. AWB's larger goal of social reform is achieved through outreach performance and awareness workshops. AWB actors perform selections from their shows and original work to audiences in schools and local organization, demonstrating their ability and talent to a wider audience. These educational performances reach out to audience members, informing them about individuals with disabilities and what their capabilities are while opening their minds to more possibilities and encouraging them to be more accepting.

AWB employs qualified staff members who are experts within their respected fields. Artistic Director Neill Hartley is a well-known and successful actor who has appeared on TV, film, and prominently within the Philadelphia theater scene. Music Director Maria Ceferatti is an accomplished musician, pianist, and vocalist. Beyond their expertise within their fields, they are educators, teaching in several professional and academic settings. Most all staff members have a theatrical background combined with a passion for advocating and empowering individuals with disabilities. With this extremely competent and hardworking staff, AWB is able to reach their goals and continues to exceed expectations. AWB is also an established program with several dedicated participants. They are passionate about AWB, working to make AWB better and are also invested in their goals. In addition, AWB has partnerships and relationships with several other organization that make meeting our goal's possible. Such organizations provide performance and outreach opportunities, more participants, more community events, and resources to help participants reach their educational and professional goals. AWB is a large part of the disabled community in the local area, and the relationship's built are a product of that. The enthusiasm, skill and motivation of our creative directors, volunteers and staff ensure the children are both educated and supported. Our current format has a proven track record of success, reaching many constituents, building a community, and staging several successful performances. Combined with our actor's dedication and collaboration with other organization, AWB has been on the rise and is very capable of reaching their goals. With passion and consistency weaved throughout the organization, AWB should continue to expand and hit milestones.

Acting Without Boundaries has already made tremendous progress in creating real change among the Philadelphia Community for the past 15 years. AWB has a comprehensive program for recruiting volunteers from the community and has an established relationship with Temple University, with many volunteers and an internship program. This relationship is cultivated through relationships with professional, outreach speeches and presentations. 2 separate and established programs have gone on to produce over 25 shows and even more outreach performances. We are currently serving our largest group of actors, with 30 active participants involved in the two shows for our 2018 season. The effects of the program are obvious when looking at the community AWB has formed with the actors and their families. These individuals finally have a creative outlet and a community of people with similar struggles and perspectives. Monthly workshops continue to allow actors to hone their craft and rehearse and our dedicated staff put together amazing shows. AWB's most recent show, Working, saw it's largest audience yet, at 500 attendees, up form 350 the previous year. Our goal is to have a sold out house, with 700 seats sold. AWB has also established an annual fundraiser The Hero Award. This fundraising event was adapted to honor an individual with a disability to further accomplish our mission statement of raising awareness and uplifting individuals within the disabled community. AWB's new goals is to elevate our status within the community and to reach wider audience. This pursuit has led us to be featured on national television, NBC's television program, GIVE. Our next big goal is to reach our long term strategic plan vision, which is to find a permanent home to run our programming where we will no longer have to lease space.

Financials

Acting Without Boundaries
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Acting Without Boundaries

Board of directors
as of 12/3/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lisa Goldschmidt

Erik Strid

Concentus Wealth

Elena White

Melissa Clark

Michael Rouse

ESF Camps, Inc.

Choppy Rouse

Berkshire Hathaway

Kim Crowley

Permit Capital

Mary Thomas

Port Contractors

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No