Since 2011, CO/LAB Theater Group (which stands for Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries) has been putting teens and adults with developmental disabilities in the limelight. In addition to CO/LAB: Connect courses that bring the experience offsite to partnered facilities and residences, CO/LAB: Core classes include several sections of Ensemble Theater, Scene Study, and of course, Musical Theater Production. The actors rehearse in the Theater District at the ART/NY space right alongside other theater troupes and productions. The musical theater program takes place Saturday mornings and invites up to 15 actors to create, rehearse, and perform a devised musical theater piece with the help of professional composers and accompanists.
CO/LAB provides a safe, shared space to promote growth among its participants not only as actors but as creative thinkers, risk takers, collaborators, communicators and problem solvers. Through the guidance of knowledgeable teaching artists and supportive peers, students shine on stage, gain deep understanding of a character, and express themselves through song. Mastery of these theatrical skills in turn serves to enhance their experiences at school, work, and home. Students have the chance to generate original material and exercise their innovation through diverse theater techniques. Blocking and warm ups promote body awareness while running lines and belting out lyrics with that Broadway vibrato improves diction and voice projection. There are no leads and no cuts at CO/LAB. Everyone has the opportunity to try, improve, and perform . All CO/LAB programs present their work at the showcase at the end of each semester in front of friends, family, and members of the theater community.