Aaron Feinstein (CEO and President) Aaron Feinstein is an educator, theater and film director, author, and entrepreneur. Aaron has created staff training modules and original curriculum to respectfully invite people with autism and disabilities at The Brooklyn Museum and The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and has trained hundreds of museum and cultural center educators and administrators in Actionplay’s ACT series model for inviting guests on the autism spectrum. Aaron is the creator of the AIMS inclusive improvisational musical comedy workshop program, and the Actionplay Chorus that was featured on the 2015 Comedy Central Broadcast of Night of Too Many Stars singing “Yoda” with Weird Al Yankovic and Jodi DiPiazza. Aaron was the co-director of The Miracle Project pilot program with Elaine Hall, and has directed The Miracle Project New York’s inclusive theatre and music programming at the 92nd Street Y, Rebecca School, and Educational Alliance among many other leading schools, arts, and performance institutions. Aaron has spoken nationally at the Arts in Education Roundtable, The Voice Foundation, Museum Access Consortium, and ICDL, and is the published author of several articles and journals focused on changing the stigmas surrounding disability. He is currently directing the film Ken and Alex (Big Daddy Autism) about the unconditional love of a father and his non speaking son on the autism spectrum living in NYC.
Sara Hunter Orr (Director of Education and Outreach) Sara is an applied theatre artist who is dedicated to engaging young people through accessible and inclusive theatre practices. She holds a Master of Arts in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York and BFA in Acting with a Minor in Education Studies from Syracuse University. Sara presented her Master’s thesis research on using theatre in peer education at the 2013 American Alliance for Theatre and Education conference, and looks forward to that research being published in an upcoming issue of the Research in Drama Education journal. She serves as the Associate Director of Education at Making Books Sing, as well as a teaching artist for their residency programs and anti-bullying workshops (one of which she co-wrote). Sara has worked onstage as a teaching artist and actor at several regional theatres across the country including People’s Light and Theatre Company, Syracuse Stage, and Asolo Repertory Theatre. At Asolo Repertory Theatre, she developed and spearheaded their Kaleidoscope program, a multi-site musical theatre residency program for people with developmental disabilities. Sara is thrilled to be joining the Actionplay team as the Director of Education and Outreach.
Gabriel Lit M.A., MT-BC (Artistic Director) is a composer, performer, and board-certified Music Therapist from Austin, Texas currently living in Queens. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Music Therapy from New York University, finishing his clinical internship at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas. Gabriel has worked as a staff Music Therapist at Arts For Healing since 2009, was the Music Director of the Miracle Project NYC from 2009-2014, and is thrilled to be a founding member and the Artistic Director of Actionplay. He has a wealth of experience in a wide variety of Music Therapy settings from Early Intervention through End of Life Care with Arts For Healing, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Creative Music Therapy Studio, and Heartsong Inc., as well as 5 years and counting of co-creating shows with children and teens on the Autism spectrum. Gabriel has composed, orchestrated, and performed original, interactive orchestral music for developmentally diverse audiences with the Greenwich Village Orchestra, and has recorded and performed with numerous professional bands and ensembles. Most importantly, he is a lucky husband and a proud, happy father.
Heather Hughes Walter (Director of Community Development) is a creative professional focused on getting the most out of life. She is a proud graduate of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, the first all-women’s college in the world, and a native New Yorker. In her youth, Heather volunteered with special needs dance classes, aiding both physically and mentally disabled kids and teens from the first classes through the end of year recital. Once in college, Heather ran STUNT, an original musical scholarship competition for the entire student body, was co-president of her a cappella group, and served as a literacy volunteer for underprivileged youth. Once she moved back to New York, Heather graduated from both the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, School for Film and Television, and worked for three years as the Assistant Director of the Miracle Project New York. Heather is enjoying her role as Director of Community Development with Actionplay, as well as her upcoming role as “somebody’s mom,” promotion expected in March 2015.