To the Editor:
Unified Theater is a program that illuminates the power of inclusion to students with and without disabilities. Started at Conard High School 18 years ago, the program is the largest school sponsored extracurricular run by student leaders. Students come together to “put the spotlight on ability” through a production consisting of small-group skits, dances, and a sign language song that correspond to a theme such as the Olympics or TV shows. The production ends with the “We’re Unified” song, where alumni are invited to sing and dance on stage.
Due to the circumstances, we were unable to hold typical Unified Theater rehearsals. The friendships and memories created through this program are like no other, so it was imperative to find a way to ensure we were still able to put on a production. The production team came up with a solution: virtual rehearsals.
The theme is represented through the idea that we’re all in this together; even though we cannot be together, we are still connected and supporting each other. Students were put into small groups where student leaders taught sign language to “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical as well as reviewing the “We’re Unified” dance. Advisors recorded each group’s version of these. These were put together to form a final video, including statements from senior members and clips of alumni participating in the final dance. Even though we cannot be together this year, Unified Theater continues to foster important connections that last a lifetime.