The T.O.D.A.Y. Show
An MK intern takes us behind the scenes of the annual play put on by Transforming Opportunities for Disabled Adults & Youth
The T.O.D.A.Y. Program performed its annual play last weekend at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster. T.O.D.A.Y., which stands for Transforming Opportunities for Disabled Adults & Youth, is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by Sister Margaret Mary, who still runs the program today. It allows disabled men and women to work with nondisabled men and women.
For the annual play, two groups of about 35 disabled and nondisabled young adults rehearse every Tuesday night from June to September at either Belmont Hills Fire Company in Bala Cynwyd or St. Tim’s Parish in northeast Philadelphia. There are two directors for each group.
My sister Emily (at left, with performer Lori Benson) started the play at age 11 and I was first in the play at age 8. Now we are the directors of the Belmont Hills group. Every other Tuesday in the summer, we spend an hour going over a dance routine my sister or I have choreographed. Each group performs dances to about eight songs.
The theme every year is picked out by the directors. This past weekend was about friendship, an important theme for me because of all the bonds I have formed over the years participating in this show.
The Saturday of the weekend performance the entire cast receives a shirt that explains the theme of the play. Everyone wears the shirt to represent that they are a part of the T.O.D.A.Y. Program.
T.O.D.A.Y. Theater has opened my eyes and heart to others and allowed me from a young age to be accepting of others and their differences. It has surely helped shape my sister Emily, 26, and myself, now 22, into the women we are today.