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Meadow Brook Theatre partners with OUCARES to support autism services

Falling deals with a family's difficulty in coping with one of its members who suffers from autism.
Falling deals with a family's difficulty in coping with one of its members who suffers from autism.
Artwork by Chet Johnson

Meadow Brook Theatre just announced its partnership with Oakland University's Center for Autism—OUCARES for an evening dedicated to raising money for autism services.

The occasion is Meadow Brook Theatre’s upcoming production of “Falling,” by Deanna Jent, which runs from March 19 through April 6, 2014. “Falling” explores a difficult, painful and sensitive subject – autism. One of the challenges of understanding autism is that it is a spectrum disorder – no two people are effected or present symptoms in exactly the same way. Jent’s drama explores the complicated family dynamic that evolves when one of its members is autistic – and struggling with explosive, aggressive behavior. It’s a drama that is based in large part on her personal experience.

Ms. Jent is the Artisitic Director of the Mustardseed Theatre in St. Louis and Professor of Theatre at Fontbonne University, where she has taught and directed shows since the fall of 1995. She will participate in an exclusive talkback with donors after the fundraiser performance on Saturday, March 22 at 6 p.m.

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence over the last 40 years. The rise in prevalence has dramatically increased the demand for services that OUCARES offers the autism community. With the funds raised through this special partnership with Meadow Brook Theatre, OUCARES will be able to continue to offer programs that help to improve quality of life for someone that is on the autism spectrum.

“Partnering with other non-profit organizations gives us a chance to give back to the community around us. This is a great opportunity to make a difference by supporting the works of another organization, especially one who shares our home right here on the Campus of Oakland University.” said Cheryl Marshall, MBT's Managing Director, “We are hoping for a great turnout for this and every performance of ‘Falling.’”

The only way to support OUCARES in this fundraiser is to purchase exclusive donor tickets via the website. Each ticket of $50 will reserve a seat at Saturday’s Opening Night performance on March 22, while also making a generous donation to help OUCARES continue their work providing autism support services. OUCARES ticket holders will also be invited to stay after the performance for the open discussion with playwright Deanna Jent.

“We are thankful that Meadow Brook Theatre is raising autism awareness by presenting ‘Falling’ and grateful to them for giving us this opportunity to help raise funds for the many OUCARES programs that we provided for individuals with ASD and their families," said Kathy Sweeny, OUCARES Director. "As a nonprofit organization without this kind of generous support we would not be able to do what we are able to do”

For tickets or information about OUCARES, please visit their webpage. at

Regular tickets for any performance during the run of ‘Falling’ are available by calling the Meadow Brook Theatre box office at 248-377-3300 or online at

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