The DisAbility Project: A Model for Autism-Specific Creativity and Civic Engagement Within the Broader Context of Difference

  • Joan Lipkin
  • Marcy Epstein
  • Paula Heller
  • Peter Smagorinsky
Part of the Palgrave Studies In Play, Performance, Learning, and Development book series (PPLD)


In discussing how theater humanizes societies, Woodruff (2010) notes that theater requires rules for behaviors—when to be quiet, when to applaud, when to arrive, when to leave, and how to listen—that establish societal norms. Woodruff cautions that without these public events, individuals become isolated and societies become non-cohesive. In essence, segregation kills the sense of belonging, and societies can be destroyed once individuals no longer feel they can relate to other members of the society. Whether or not a society integrates individuals with behavioral, developmental, and physical “disabilities” into the larger society shapes societal expectations both for people with and without such points of difference.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Lipkin
    • 1
  • Marcy Epstein
    • 2
  • Paula Heller
    • 3
  • Peter Smagorinsky
    • 4
  1. 1.That Uppity Theatre CompanySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.That Uppity Theater CompanySt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.Department of Language and Literacy EducationThe University of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA

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