Possibilities not Limitations: Talent development and autism

Possibilities not Limitations: Talent development and autism

Jul 26, 2021
Boom Chicago, Rozengracht 117, 1016 LV,
Various prices

On Monday, July 26, as part of the Boom Chicago Comedy Festival 2021, Possibilities not Limitations will celebrate the spectrum and the talent that comes from the underappreciated autistic brain, focussing on what can instead of what cannot.

Boom Chicago founders Saskia Maas and Andrew Moskos host an inspiring line-up featuring Boom alum Lisa Jolley who just completed a film with non-traditional actors, a panel with Dr. Marcia Goddard (Head of People and Culture for Tony’s Chocolonely) and Cindy Doff (board member of the Autism Ambassadors Association), the young talent of InterActing, and Fabian Franciscus, the Dutch comedian on the spectrum.

The Possibilities not Limitations programme

Here’s a summary of the programme on July 26:

  • 5pm: “It’s 5 O'clock Somewhere” Happy Hour with drinks and snacks 
  • 6pm: A Comedy Conversation with Boom alum Lisa Jolley, hosted by Boom founders Saskia Maas and Andrew Moskos
  • 6.30pm: Making Connections, a panel discussion about talent and the autistic brain featuring Dr. Marcia Goddard and Cindy Doff 
  • 8pm: Fabian Fransiscus, stand up comedian on the spectrum plays a set from his new show De Kleine Wereld (in Dutch)

Comedy Conversation with Lisa Jolley

The Comedy Conversation is an uninhibited, hilarious interview with Boom Chicago alum Lisa Jolley. Lisa is an actress, singer, improviser, and teacher / coach for all those things. The event will see her peak about her life in Amsterdam, her career, and her son George, whose heartfelt video about being autistic went viral.

This event will also feature a short video from Suzi Barret, who will discuss her recent project with Zeno Mountain Farm camp whose mission it is to foster lifelong friendships between different types of people, regardless of age, disability, or any other demographic marker. They recently premiered their first feature-length film, Best Summer Ever, at the SXSW film festival.

Making Connections panel discussion

Making Connections is a panel discussion about the brain and the possibilities of autism. The limitations are well documented, but people on the autistic spectrum have skills relating to order, detail, and making connections. If these traits could be better catalogued and understood, we would go a long way to not just keeping autistic people busy, but unlocking these unique skills to benefit employers and society.

The panel ends with a short video performance from the students of InterActing, Boom Chicago’s non-profit theatre programme that encourages teenagers and students with autism through improvisation skills to break out of their patterns of ritual and routine to embrace the unexpected. These life skills help young people with autism to become more confident and to enjoy interacting with the (non-autistic) world around them.

Stand-up comedy show with Fabian Franciscus

Fabian Franciscus is a charming and successful Dutch standup comedian who is on the spectrum. One of his skills is to balance when those two things build on each other and when they collide. In the Netherlands, he won the Leeuwarder Cabaret Festival prize and the Comedy Slam. Abroad, he performs at prolific comedy clubs in New York, Berlin, Stockholm, and London.

He is a frequent guest on Dutch TV shows like De Slimste Mens, Spijkers Met Koppen, Na Het Nieuws, and Kopspijkers, and several of his comedy videos have gone viral. He will be doing a set from his latest show De Kleine Wereld. This stand-up show is in Dutch. 

About InterActing

InterActing is Boom Chicago’s non-profit theatre programme that encourages young people with autism to express themselves through the medium of theatre.

Contact InterActing if you or someone you know would like to sign up for their acting classes! The upcoming classes are as follows:

  • August 29 until October 17: 11:45am-1pm and 1.15pm-2.30pm
  • October 31 until December 19: 11:45am-1pm and 1.15pm-2.30pm

About Boom Chicago

Boom Chicago, the Amsterdam-based comedy troupe, has carved out a reputation for itself, renowned as a venue for its original comedy sketch shows, improvisational theatre, nifty comedy writing and its way of addressing Dutch and American current affairs and social issues. Since 2001, they have presented critically acclaimed political shows onstage at Boom Chicago.

Get your tickets to Possibilities not Limitations

Ready for an enlightening evening of comedy and connections? Get your tickets to Possibilities not Limitations and find out more about the event on the Boom Chicago website.