The Artistic Director for Wild Rumpus Productions, Philip Dallmann recently scripted his own original play, Straight On ‘Til Morning. The fictional dramatization is a breakthrough for the autism community in its accurate – and delightful – portrayal of the main character. A native of South Jersey, Philip currently lives in Brooklyn and works as the Autism Theatre Initiative coordinator at the Theatre Development Fund in NYC.
Philip Talks About His Play
Straight On ‘Til Morning is the story of Adrian, a young man with autism, who often imagines himself in Neverland. Adrian is raised by a single mother and lives in a small town where he attends class with three other children with autism. Adrian’s classmate Beatrice unfortunately has verbally and physically abusive parents. When Adrian notices that Beatrice is in trouble he takes it upon himself to get her to the safest place he knows, Neverland. In Straight On ‘Til Morning we see familiar faces, including Wendy, the Lost Boys, Smee and Captain Hook, as we watch Adrian use his imagination to cope with the world around him.
I wrote Straight On ‘Til Morning shortly after spending about a year working in an autism classroom in my hometown. I was placed in the class as a substitute teacher with zero ASD experience, but within a week I had fallen in love with the kids. Watching these kids, young adults, struggle with things I take for granted but yet show endless creativity in the form of dance and art inspired me. I now work as the Autism Theatre Initiative Coordinator at TDF in Manhattan creating autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows such as Wicked, The Lion King, and Mary Poppins.
With Straight On ‘Til Morning I hope to not only provide autism-friendly performances for the autism community but also provide relatable characters, something theater is lacking for this community. We have received a few small grants but are in the middle of a crowd-funding campaign to bring the show Off-Broadway. That campaign can be found here.
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