To the Editor:
We want to thank MJ Bruder Munafo from the Vineyard Playhouse for the wonderful time she showed us by leading Virginia’s VIP Drama Club this spring. Vineyard Independence Partnership (VIP) is a partnership of individuals with disabilities and their family members and friends working to promote social activities and encourage accessibility in the community.
Virginia’s VIP Drama Club is named in honor of the late Virginia Hackney, a VIP member with great interest in the theater and avid participation in the Vineyard Playhouse.
For those of us familiar with the spotlight, as well as those who never even thought about taking part in a theater production before, the time MJ took out of her Tuesday afternoons to teach us about theater was a very special learning experience. She taught us theater games that got us thinking, talking, and moving around. She shared her knowledge of and experience with the people who put on plays, the many jobs they have to do, and the tools they use — from hardware like stage lights to the skills they build to put together a great show. We learned about the many ways we can be a part of theater, even if we’d never dream of stepping onstage: Plays need writing, they need set and costume design, they need a stage crew, they need lighting and sound, and let’s not forget how they need a director to coordinate it all.
At VIP, we plan our activities so that community members of all abilities can take part, and MJ shared in that spirit of inclusivity by making everyone feel welcome.
So, from all of us, a round of applause and a big “Thank you, MJ!” There’s already been plenty of excited talk in anticipation of resuming our group in the fall. In the meantime, we look forward to enjoying this summer’s performance season at the Playhouse. Break a leg!
Laura Jahn, VIP board member and Drama Club participant