I'm not going to get into listing all the ways in which he is so wonderful right now, I just want to focus on one piece of the wonderfulness puzzle. And it is this: I want you know about T's work, which is inspiring, beautiful, and changing-the-world-for-the-better-exciting.
Back in 2001, T decided to start a theatre company for young people who stutter. He has stuttered since childhood and spent most of his life feeling isolated, alone, and misunderstood. When he was growing up, he found an expressive outlet in the performing arts and went on to become a successful professional actor/dancer/choreographer. Throughout his years performing in New York and around the world, T was having the time of his life (this was the era during which we met, after all!) but still, something was missing. T dreamed of shifting gears and using his gifts and experience to help other people who stutter.
Hence the inception of Our Time Theatre Company.
Now in its eighth season, Our Time provides an environment of unconditional acceptance which allows young people who stutter to transform the fear and shame that often comes with stuttering into confidence and self-esteem. Within the fun and fabulous framework of Our Time, young people who stutter discover the joy of creating and performing original theatre and music. There is no audition for prospective members, no performance experience necessary, and Our Time serves its company members free of charge. Usually kids come back to Our Time year after year, fostering a feeling of community and family. The impact that T and Our Time has had on so many lives is breathtaking. I cannot tell you how deeply affecting and inspiring it is to watch young people being transformed by art and understanding. And yet it goes deeper -- the stock-in-trade of Our Time is love, and it positively oozes out of every performance, every song, every poem written at Our Time. At the heart of everything the theatre company does is a vision of listening and acceptance that transcends the boundaries of the specific issue of stuttering, motivating audiences to appreciate and celebrate everyone's unique voice.
I have chosen to tell you all about this now, because last week T launched the Official Our Time Blog! You must check it out, as it is an excellent window into the company's ongoing projects and a great way to see behind the scenes, all while getting your daily dose of cuteness in the form of kids performing and reading their own original work (T is addicted to his new Flip, so expect lots of video snippets!)
By frequenting the Our Time Blog, you'll be the first to hear about Our Time collaborations with popular artists (Our Time's supporters have included Mandy Patinkin, Paul Rudd, Rosie Perez, Cynthia Nixon, Natalie Portman, Bill Withers, and many many more. You'll want to keep your eyes and ears peeled for news and updates on the in-production Our Time Album which features many celebrity guest artists).
SOOO, check it out! And check it out often for news and updates!
NOTE: For an opportunity to see Our Time in action, in person, there are shows coming up this weekend in NYC. For more information, click here or call 212.414.9696.
And finally, to give you a little taste of what's in store for you on T's blog, I'll leave you with three of the Our Time pre-teen company members, reading about their holiday hopes: