I Am You/Playback Improvisation Troupe perform to sold-out audiences

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"It's been a dream because the stage is my second home."
--Playback Performer Jessica Walker

"Beth Myers' Ring of Fire lit up the stage. Neisha Luther displayed her art - she had already sold four paintings - and shrieked with happiness at the audience's response."


--Connie Shakalis H-T Reviewer

On February 21 & 22, nine performers and a ten-member Playback improvisational troupe presented I Am You, a professional theatrical production that demonstrated to the community that all individuals have artistic abilities and stories to share as well as dreams and aspirations. Stone Belt received a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission for I Am You performances in 2020.

Stone Belt’s I Am You focuses on empowering people with disabilities to speak for themselves and share a part of their life story with the community. The performers shared their stories through monologues, music, poetry, and artwork. The performers for 2020's I Am You were selected following an agency-wide audition and narrowed down based on their desire to share their story, artistic ambitions, and impact on the audience.

I Am You performers are supported by Stone Belt in Bloomington, Bedford, and Columbus. I Am You performers included Logan Bell, Johnny Brooking, Neisha Luther, Derrick Martin, Kenton McInteer, Patty Muelenbein, Beth Myers, Ryan Pollack, and Carl Strange. I Am You was directed by Lucy Farmer.
Members of the Playback troupe included Kimmi Bignell, Mary Kate Bistro, Betsy Higgins, Maryann Iaria, Brandon Kerfoot, Wesley Mull, Jessica Walker, Stephanie Weber, Dan Lodge-Rigal, and Lucy Farmer. The Playback troupe includes performers with and without developmental disabilities and was directed by Whitney Sullivan.

Stone Belt produced its first I Am You stage production in 2008 to give a voice to the voiceless. The concept grew from Michelle Davenport’s (a recreational therapy student at that time) desire to document and preserve the stories of people with disabilities. Michelle believed the stories of inspiration, courage, and resilience could be brought to the stage as a powerful testament to the performers’ courage and strength. Using the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s professional stage created a high-quality production value and gave audience members an intimate way to experience the lives of people with disabilities.
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Stone Belt Arc is the local chapter of The Arc in Monroe County. The Arc is committed to all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities realizing their goals of living, learning, working and fully participating in the community. The combined strength of local Arcs, The Arc of Indiana and The Arc of the United States makes The Arc the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Learn more about The Arc by visiting www.arcind.org and www.thearc.org.

Copyright © Stone Belt Arc 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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