MEDINA, Ohio — A Medina-based improv troupe called the "The Improvaneers" are entirely comprised of individuals with Down syndrome.
When the pandemic halted their performances and training tour across the country, they pivoted to teaching their methods online.
While improvisation is a fun social activity, founder Rob Snow said it allows those with developmental disabilities to build skills that greatly improve social, workplace and lifetime opportunities. They have seen this in the 10 original members of "The Improvaneers," but want to reach even further.
"We have an assumption right now with 10 individuals. I want to study 100, you know 1,000 individuals going through this, so that we can fully see the impacts of improvisation on individuals with developmental disabilities in so many ways," said Snow.
The Method aims to build these skills:
- Voice Projection
- Eye Contact
- Quick Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Adaptation to Change
- Attention to Detail
- Character Development
Snow said these skills translate to better work for individuals with devlopmental disabilities.
"We want jobs to meet the abilities and the desires of those with developmental disabilities. There are there are numerous jobs out there for these individuals, and I'm not knocking any job that's out there, (but) you look at the job and sometimes they might just be sorting or stacking and it gets a little pigeon-holed sometimes."
He said his goal is for employers who hire those with developmental disabilities is to look at the actual skill set of the individual.
"Really looking deep into their soul into what they want to do and what they are actually capable of, you know? They're capable of so many things. So I want those jobs to meet their desires and their, in their true abilities."