Benevilla is excited to announce a new partnership with Theatre Works

March 27, 2019

Surprise, AZ  – Benevilla is excited to announce as part of a unique partnership with Theatre Works, 16 of our Helping Partners members will take part in a wonderful new enrichment opportunity: an 11-week theatrical production – from auditions and rehearsals to a full performance of Beauty and the Beast Jr. – in front of a live audience. Theater Works’ Adaptive Works program makes these genuine theatrical performance opportunities available to people with mental and physical disabilities ages 12 and older.  This project is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Through this program, the Benevilla Helping Partners Program members will be actors in a production, focusing on the performance side of theater, including building and expanding upon fundamental acting skills at Theatre Works. Over the course of the program, members will work together to create a show for their audience. The program will be facilitated by Adaptive Works staff who are highly trained in working with adults with developmental and intellectual challenges and includes 10 rehearsals, as well as a final full cast rehearsal, and small-group rehearsals to prepare for the performance.

This program also includes educational classes, through which Adaptive Works instructors provide hands-on guidance to actors on building their acting skills. “We had our tryouts for Beauty and the Beast Junior this week. Our members were so excited to be part of this and showed such great enthusiasm. We didn’t know we had so many budding actors and actresses” said Deirdre Graham, Director of Life Enrichment for the Benevilla Helping Partners Program.

Rehearsal sessions began March 12th, 2019 and will run for 13 weeks at the Benevilla Helping Partners Program campus in Sun City. Technical rehearsal will take place Monday, May 20th at 10:00AM at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. The final performance will take place Tuesday, May 21st at Theatre Works. Arrival time will be 9:00AM and the show will begin at 11:00AM. Tickets to the final performance will be free to family and friends of the participants. Please call 623-584-4999 today to get your tickets or for more information.

Through the Benevilla Helping Partners Program, adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities can experience volunteer and employment opportunities that enable the program’s members to contribute and make a difference in their communities. In addition, Helping Partners members participate in a wide range of wellness and life skills programs to enrich their lives and promote their independence, as well as their physical, social and emotional well-being. For instance, members enjoy games, creative arts, gardening, community outings, entertainment opportunities and exercise each day. Benevilla is continually incorporating new enrichment activities into the Helping Partners program for our members to enjoy and benefit from.

Theater Works is a nonprofit theater providing the most comprehensive programming of any performing arts organization in the West Valley, drawing more than 130,000 patrons to its programming last season. The Theatre Works program provides opportunities for children, patrons and artists to experience theater that inspires, enriches and enlightens through the experience of the performing arts. Theater Works’ vision is to be a significant cultural resource for Peoria and the West Valley, improving the quality of life through expression and experience of the performing arts.

In a paper entitled “Arts Education and Inclusion” Sari Hornstein wrote for VSA (Very Special Arts), saying participation in the arts supports and promotes social and emotional growth for both abled and disabled individuals by broadening their perspectives, celebrating their differing talents and creativity, and encouraging their acceptance of others. She adds that engaging disabled individuals in the performing arts “provides rich opportunities for self-expression, the acquisition of skills and bolstering of self-confidence.”

As participants embody a character, develop their role, deliver lines without a script, work as an ensemble and challenge themselves by undertaking work they have never done, their self-confidence, their ability to express themselves and their social inclusion grow. And in the process, they have fun and delight their friends and family with an engaging, light-hearted performance.

Started by the community and for the community in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit family services agency dedicated to enriching the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, adults with disabilities, children, and families. For more information on services, volunteer opportunities, to take a tour or make a donation to Benevilla, call 623-584-4999 or visit