Ana Mendelson

University of Virginia Class of 201612038140_10153460587401622_2268389366875165321_n

Curry School of Education/College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

Majors: Speech Pathology & Psychology

Role in ATP: Founder, Lead Researcher

What makes me passionate about Autism Theatre Project?

After learning about autism-friendly performances going on across the country, like on Broadway through the Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative, I was inspired bring sensory-friendly theatre to Charlottesville. I am passionate about the arts as well as inclusion, and this was the first project I’ve embarked on that I felt fully encompassed both these passions. The project at its simplest form is an invitation — an invitation to families who may have felt stigmatized in public spaces to come out and participate in community arts events. I am excited to see how ATP grows and changes in response to the community’s needs.

My favorite Autism Theatre Project Memory:

Hiring my amazing support staff! Initially, I thought I could do it all on my own, but after receiving some well-timed advice, I decided to put together a team. It was the best decision I’ve made throughout this precess! Seeing the ATP crew work passionately to realize an idea that once existed solely in my head has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Other Involvement:

Challah for Hunger, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, University/Chamber Singers, First Year Players