Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review: Their Cool World

By Michael Block

No matter who you are, there is an artist inside each of us. While we may express our art in various forms, being able to showcase our imagination is a gift in itself. The extraordinary team over at Actionplay, led by Aaron Feinstein, has given a wonderful gift to a group of artists by allowing them to create their own show. Since October, a group of artists on the Autism spectrum came together in the AIMS Improv Musical-Comedy Workshop to create a brand new musical. For an hour and a half for twenty-six Sundays, the company devised what we now know as Welcome to My World. The one act musical, featuring the Inclusive Actionplay Chorus, is nothing short of an artistic celebration.
Welcome to My World is a unique story about a young girl with Autism written and told through the lens of Autism. The story follows Aliza, a young girl on the spectrum with big dreams and a grand imagination. When a friend moves away for the summer, she searches for a new one and ends up finding a connection with a girl from comic book and another galaxy. Claudia is sent to Earth to study the specimen but ends up discovering a stronger bond with her new Earth friend. At the heart of the piece is a celebration of acceptance. No matter what makes you different, it’s ok!
As the driving character of the piece, Natalie Kaiser as Aliza was the pulse of Welcome to My World. The amount of heart she brought on the stage was boundless. Kaiser has tons of fun from start to finish. As her new pal Claudia, Emmalee M. Weinstein had an extraordinary journey as she had fun playing the outsider in our world. One of the highlights of the night was certainly the song “Fix It” featuring Shafer Goodkind as Dr. Dad. Goodkind played up the goofy nature of the song to become a real standout.
Opportunities to create art in a safe and uplifting environment should be celebrated and Actionplay does just that. Whether you’re a friend of the company or just a lover of the arts, this is a group to keep on your radar as they continue to share their work.