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Detour Company Theatre


Making Theatre Accessible for the Non-Traditional Actor

Date(s) & Time(s): Thu, Oct 21, 2:00 PM
Duration: 45 mins w/out intermission
Location: Online

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Advance Price: By donation (suggested $10)

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Production Details

Making Theatre Accessible for the Non-Traditional Actor

The theme of this presentation is making theatre accessible for the non-traditional actor. Sam founded Detour Company Theatre 21 years ago, she will talk about how she has made authentic musical theater performances accessible/inclusive for actors with developmental challenges, Down Syndrome, Autism, Deafness, and Blindness. A video made by Kathy Hotchner will show this unique company in rehearsal and performance, giving you a sense of its mission. Sam and Kathy will focus on how Detour adapts traditional theatre to accommodate the needs of its unique actors into a fully produced musical theater performance, creating opportunity and possibility for all.

Detour Company Theatre

Detour Company History Since 2001 Detour Company Theatre has been committed to making a journey in the arts possible for its actors – including those who are deaf, blind, autistic, those with Down Syndrome and other genetic/cognitive conditions. Its mission is to provide theater training and performance experiences that give its actors opportunities to develop artistry, demonstrate courage, practice collaboration, experience joy and to participate in the performance of musical theater. Detour produces two to three main-stage Broadway musicals each year, which are showcased in the eight hundred seat theatre at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Each production is capped at 50 actors who are supported by coaches, a live band and professional sets and costumes. Other Detour programs include “Boots Camp” for new interested actors, summer skills workshops, our Actors Academy, and touring shows. Detour is also an educational partner at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Lecture/ Workshop Presenters are Sam (single name only) and Kathy Hotchner Together, they wrote the book “Taking a Detour: Adapting Theatre to Celebrate the Ability of All” in 2019 Sam, Detour’s founder and now Emertis Artistic Director, received her undergraduate degree in Education and her MFA in Theatre for Youth from ASU. She has served as the coordinator of the Theatre Arts program at Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and as a certified ASL interpreter. While at the School for the Deaf the seed for the idea for Detour came when she was asked by her then 23-year- old, developmentally disabled son, “When is it going to be my turn?” She searched for an authentic theater company for her son to join, and finding none, started Detour. Sam was on the Arizona Commission on the Arts roster for more than ten years doing workshops on disability awareness and sign language interpretation. In 2018 Sam was the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for an individual, honoring the significant impact she has had on the state’s arts community. She has been recognized by Arizona’s PBS station, winning their “Be More Award,” and received a Zoni for service to the arts for her sign language interpreting. Kathy Hotchner is currently the Board Chair of Detour Company Theater and has been their videographer, filming rehearsals and performances for six years. She and Sam together. Kathy served as a Vice President of the Scottsdale Cultural Council and Director of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for 23 years. There she was responsible for the selection, contracting, and presentation of all performing arts activities. She commissioned works, with many artists including Momix, Spalding Gray, and Laurie Anderson and created residencies and workshops for school and community groups. Kathy has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and as President of the Western Arts Alliance (WAA) twice. She received the YMCA’s Tribute to Women 2004, and the Champion of Diversity Award from the City of Scottsdale .

San Francisco International Arts Festival
Phone Number: 415-399-9554 | Email: [email protected]
1222 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109



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