Detour Company Theatre is an Arizona-based performing arts group for disabled actors and actresses. Detour began in 2000 to give opportunities to adults with disabilities who wanted to be on stage.
Detour was founded by a woman who was teaching theater at the Arizona School for the Deaf. The woman was also a mother of an adult son, who had been brain-damaged at birth, and attended a program for disabled adults. She got the idea to start Detour Company Theatre when her son was helping at her school and stood on the stage so she could test the spotlight. That’s when her son asked, “Mom, when is it going to be my turn?”
And that’s when Detour was born.
In the past 16 years, the theater company has proved that “anybody, no matter how different you are, can act,” as one member of the theater has said.
Lincoln Strategy Group greatly admires Detour’s inclusiveness and open-door policy to performing artists who would feel otherwise disqualified from having their moment in the spotlight. One of the most impressive aspects of Detour is its incredible mission statement, which says:
“Detour is committed to making a journey in the arts possible for all. Our mission is to create authentic, accessible theatre opportunities together – for and with adults who do not experience success within the existing theatre community. These adults may have disabilities including (but not limited to) autism, cognitive and physical challenges, deafness and blindness, which require additional support and adaptive techniques. We work to create rewarding programming that supports existing skills and celebrates the development of new ones.”
Lincoln Strategy Group’s co-founder, Meghan Cox, is the President of the board at Detour, assisting the organization on a pro-bono basis. Meghan’s guidance has helped the theater company expand their reach and effectiveness. Each Detour production costs more than $50k to put on, and is performed in one of the largest theatre venues in the Phoenix area – with standing room only. Meghan’s efforts have led to actor Kevin Bacon connecting to the charity for their production of Footloose.
Detour traditionally produces two musicals a year with its main-stage troupe that boasts more than 40 members. Additionally, Detour has a traveling troupe that “takes the message and heart of Detour on the road.” Detour on Tour performs in schools, work programs, and senior communities.
To learn more about Detour or to see their upcoming performance schedule, visit http://www.detourcompanytheatre.org.