Repairing the rainbow: the play made by actors with autism that screams inclusion

The theater has become a powerful vehicle for inclusion for children and young people with autism, the soul of an artistic project in Medellin that paints the stage with colors a work that demands respect for diversity and invites us to combat exclusion.

“Theater is for everyone,” Robinson Bedoya, the director of actors at the Integral Foundation, told EFE. entity that ensures the well-being of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that on Sunday, November 27, he presented a new performance of “Reparando el Arcoíris” at the Teatro Metropolitano in Medellín, a play to talk about human colors and the search for balance.

About twenty actors with autism tell the story of the sorcerer Cromas and gets involved, between music and humor, in the desperate mission to repair the rainbow after discovering that the spectrum is full of breakdowns and imperfections.

Autism is summed up in nobility. These guys are too visual. They have a broad discipline, a perfect memory and the ability to work as a team,” explained Bedoya, in charge of “riding these actors in that magical world of theater” between the ages of 7 and 30.


This theatrical project was born a couple of decades ago and has staged some 24 playswithin a process that managed to consolidate a theater group that has been gaining “a lot of space” in the city, according to the director of the foundation, Myriam Luz Gómez, who highlighted that “Reparando el Arcoíris”, written by the Cuban singer-songwriter Rita del Prado, will be presented within the framework of the Dynamic Audience Training program of the Medellin’s town hall .

Along the way they discovered that people with ASD have a special talent, interest and motivation for cultural issues and to verify that the artistic presentations serve them to develop social skills.

They love putting themselves in the roles of others and they do it very well“, Gómez told EFE. This has allowed them to develop, make friendships with their peers and have well-being, since they are people with “few opportunities” to be in participatory environments.

“They feel recognized and admired. For many, the theater became part of his life and his work project“, highlighted the director, adding that autistic actors with different levels of complexity, three members of the musical group Cantoalegre and a professional actress participated in the last show, with the intention of “showing the world that we can all interact.”

This year they decided not to focus the work on autism, but on deliver a message to humanity about respect, diversity and inclusion: “We have to repair ourselves, like the rainbow”. And he puts reflections on the table or on the spectrum guarded by the sorcerer Cromas from his laboratory with a story where a gardener is expelled for being old, a lighting designer for falling in love with another man, and a restaurateur for being black.

“The idea of ​​the work is that represent what they live inside and externalize it through fantastic charactersand thus sensitize the community,” Gómez remarked.

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One of those characters is the Digital Clock, brought to life by 12-year-old Mateo Montoya, five of them linked to the Fundación Integrar theater group, who has starred in works with messages to combat bullying.

For him, as he told EFE, the most fun “has been being offstage, without the microphones and being able to talk to my colleagues”, but once he gets on stage he intensely enjoys “acting in public and see so many people applaud me”.

The Training Program for Dynamic Audiences, which this year it included in its programming the work “Reparando al Arcoíris”is aimed at the lower strata of Medellín with the purpose of increasing the interaction of citizens with artistic content and promoting spaces with a “sensitive” and “experiential” component of art.

“Through the strategies of theater and art generate processes with children with autism to give value to both their lives and their experienceby connecting them with society and making it possible for them to also dream in many spaces,” Medellín’s Secretary of Citizen Culture, Álvaro Narváez, told EFE.

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Repairing the rainbow: the play made by actors with autism that screams inclusion