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Inclusion and Support

Looking for Shakespeare

This year, Looking for Shakespeare (LFS) is launching a new model, specifically seeking neuro/ psychodiverse actors, movers, and musicians to join the inclusive ensemble of The Winter's Tale. Offering individualized support and a trained staff, the LFS program aims to advance essential skills and spotlight the natural aptitudes of each performer. This exciting new model will provide a rewarding, collaborative experience for participants of all abilities, gender identities, and/or racial, ethnic, or national backgrounds.

This year we’ll offer:

  • Pre-production training for staff 
    All staff and NYU students participating in Looking for Shakespeare will receive training from professionals regarding access, ability, privilege, inclusive language, and creating an inclusive community.     
  • Open-access 
    All participants, families, and external support systems will be invited to participate in early rehearsals and workshops, encouraging face-to-face connections and continued communication with the staff.      
  • Individualized NYU coaches 
    Each young performer will be paired with a NYU graduate student who will act as their  personalized coach and buddy, assisting with lines, cues, character analysis, text analysis,  physicality, and music and movement (if applicable).      
  • Dedicated inclusion specialist 
    Before rehearsals start, an inclusion specialist will facilitate individual meetings with students and stakeholders to identify specific strengths and struggles, communicate needs, offer individualized support, and set goals. Throughout the rehearsal process they will communicate daily with students’ coaches as well as the creative team to understand progress, identify essential accommodations, create meaningful opportunities, and ensure a positive experience for the young performers.        
  • Opportunities to build community 
    Looking to encourage friendships while we create quality theatre, we facilitate fun, intentional events to build community: an early open rehearsal for families, an ensemble picnic, daily   group lunches (accompanied by staff), daily ensemble-building games, two group outings to   see professional theatre around the city, and a final cast party.       

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the following:     

  • An onsite ASL interpreter     
  • Someone to pick up or drop off performers at rehearsal      
  • Additional support after 4pm for students residing in the NYU dorms
  • Bathroom assistance     

Questions you might have:   

  • Would I have to speak on stage? 
    No. We are looking for students who identify as actors, movers and/or musicians, so memorizing and speaking lines is not an absolute requirement.      
  • Are the facilities wheelchair-accessible?   
    Yes. Pless Hall is wheelchair-accessible.      
  • I have never participated in the arts before but I would like to try. Would this be a good fit for me?   
    We are looking for student artists who want to grow their known aptitudes in a pre-professional environment. That said, preparing for and participating in an audition process is a great place to start.

If you have more questions, please email Stephanie Anderson at  She will be happy to talk and brainstorm with you.