The Acting Up Theater Company — an adaptive theater company for young actors of all abilities — is presenting the musical “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever” at Edmond Town Hall mainstage on August 26 at 10:00 AM. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Acting Up Theater Company is dedicated to providing a unique on-stage experience and social opportunities to young actors of all levels of ability. This year’s Acting Up camp is run by actress and drama teacher Barbara Distinti, MFA and speech language pathologist Frances Sorger Wengart, MS CCC-SLP.

“I am thrilled to bring our talented actors to this beautiful stage,” says Barbara Distinti, actress, drama teacher and founder of Acting Up Theater Company. “Theater is a great way to make (and keep) close friendships. So many of our young actors participate in traditional social skills groups. Fran and I love that this is a creative way to teach the same social skills.”

“I’m so happy to be part of the second year of Acting Up,” says Frances Wengart, speech language pathologist. “Theater naturally teaches perspective taking, flexible thinking and promotes positive self-esteem.”

Acting Up Theater company started in the summer of 2015. Barbara and Fran joined forces to create a unique adaptive drama experience by combining theater activities with evidence-based social skills training. The actors presented a musical at the end of the week and many of the actors gained the confidence to participate in other shows during the school year. This year’s show The Most EPIC Birthday Party Ever! Promises to be a fun show for cast and audience alike!

Barbara Stuart Distinti currently teaches drama at Easton Country Day School. She received her MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Pittsburgh and studied with The Groundlings and Larry Moss in Los Angeles. She has performed locally at the Stray Kats Theatre Company in Newtown and is an active member of SAG and AEA. Regional theatre credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cymbeline, Tartuffe, Othello, Evita, A Funny Thing…Forum, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pirates of Penzance.  She recently directed the film short A Coming Out Homecoming, which was selected for film festivals in New York, Hawaii and Australia. She wrote, directed and performed in a series of sketch comedy shows at The Improv in Hollywood. She also works with children with special needs and is an experienced ABA therapist.

Frances Wengart is ASHA and CT certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree at Ithaca College in Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped with a minor in Spanish.  Fran immediately went on to get her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the College of St. Rose.  Fran has worked for 7 years with preschool-elementary aged children within the public school setting in MA.  She has worked in private practice in CT with school-age children for 5 years. She lives in Newtown with my husband and 2 children. She enjoys offering cutting-edge and evidence-based social communication services to children and families.

About Acting Up Theater Company

Acting Up Theater Company is a unique fusion of theater activities with evidence-based social skills training. Theater naturally teaches perspective taking, flexible thinking and develops strong friendships and positive self esteem. Kids at Acting Up have a blast, make friends and put on a show!

To learn more about Acting Up Theater Company, visit www.ActingUpTheater.com, or call Barbara Distinti at (203) 545-3465.