This Annabelle Believes

posted Monday December 2nd, 2013

This semester, Sophie’s older sister, Annabelle, was asked to write a “This I Believe” style essay for her seventh grade English class. Here’s hers; it’s about Detour, a local theater company. Annabelle and Sophie were part of the cast of “South Pacific” in June 2012.  

I Believe in Art

Art is for everybody. The young and old, big and small. Everyone is connected with art in some way even if you don’t realize it. I realized this when I started working with the company Detour, which is an organization for developmentally disabled adults that allows them to sing, act, and put on a show.

While other theaters might not take them seriously, Detour gives them the opportunity to experience the excitement of putting on a performance and having fun at the same time.

Anyways, I’m very close with the director, Sam(I have worked with her at some summer camps in the past). She asked me to be in the production Detour was putting on,”South Pacific”, so I could help out my sister, who has down syndrome, and was also going to be in the play. I happily agreed(I knew that my sister could be a handful sometimes). When I got to rehearsal, I was a little intimidated by the other cast members. I was not sure what to say to them. But, once I introduced myself and they introduced themselves, I could tell it was going to be a great experience.

All of my fellow cast members were so talented! There was one man who was a phenomenal dancer, and a woman who was one of the best singers I have ever heard. As rehearsals went on, it was so amazing to watch the actors transform into their characters and find their voices. But I have to admit, it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

There were probably about 80-90 cast members in the show(that was a lot of people to work with). It became overwhelming to rehearse, quiet everyone down, and for Sam to give notes on a scene or song.

There was a lot of issues with getting things done. On some days, it looked like we would never get the show completed.

Then, the day arrived. Backstage, everyone was either doing hair, makeup, rehearsing, or just plain freaking out. When we were called to the stage, everyone laced up their converse sneakers and hurried upstairs. When we arrived, Sam called us all into a big circle for a pep talk. As she spoke, I looked around. Every single one of us was different: some short, some tall, some young, some old, some blonde with white skin, some brunet with dark skin. That was when I realized that art brings us together and allows us to express ourselves.

The performance was great! I was so proud of the cast, and I could tell that they were proud of themselves, too. Another great thing about the arts is that you’ve made people feel some thing through your character, and hopefully encouraged them to get into the arts as well, no matter who they are.

 See also: Some Enchanted Evening

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

8 Responses to “This Annabelle Believes”

  1. GOD you are a good mom!! Love those girls. LOVE THEM!

  2. So fantastic…hard to believe this was written by a CHILD! xoxo

  3. Love this Amy! “Art brings us together and allows us to express ourselves,” is simply beautiful.

  4. Dear Miss Annabelle,

    It’s usually through Amy that we hear of you, so it’s an honor and delight to hear directly from you. Thank you for sharing your story.

    As the father of 3 sons, one of whom has Down Syndrome (Ryan, age 37 ! ), I know how your sibling position is, shall we say, unique.

    A famous author* once said that our loving & caring inevitably fade away. When that happens, the love that keeps going must be an intellectual , not a .

    You have chosen well in giving away your extra time to benefit Sophie and the others.

    You are a wise and fortunate young woman.

    Seasons Greetings from Robert Polk.

    *M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Travelled

  5. Oops. I put words in chevrons for emphasis, and they disappeared!

    Let’s try again with dashes:

    A famous author* once said that our loving & caring -feelings- inevitably fade away. When that happens, the love that keeps going must be an intellectual -choice- , not a -feeling-.

  6. That was an awesome post. Your children are amazing.
    Lorie
    http://dysfunctionalsuperpower.blogspot.com/

  7. WOW, WOW, WOW! Amy you are doing something right. Annabelle has an amazing awareness that most girls her age lack. She is developing into a really wonderful young woman!

  8. What a mature and insightful young woman! Kudos to all the talented writers in the S-S household!

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Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman has two beautiful daughters, Annabelle and Sophie. Sophie has Down syndrome. These days, Amy divides the world into two groups: the people who adore Sophie, and those who don’t look twice. Amy has to remind herself that once upon a time -- when it came to people who are "different" -- she fell in the latter category. And therein lies the blog... Read more
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