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Uncommon Sense

New York actor to perform solo piece at UNI

University Relations, UNI

CEDAR FALLS — The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center has partnered with the University of Northern Iowa’s Alpha Xi Delta to sponsor Where Are We Now at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, in the auditorium of Lang Hall. Andrew Duff, an actor on the autism spectrum performing in Uncommon Sense, will share his personal journey in a one-man show that involves living with autism and the prospect of being “better” in a normal society. A “Living With Autism” panel discussion and reception will follow.

The panel discussion will include Duff; Dakota Funk, a 2014 graduate of UNI and current Master of Social Work graduate student; and Ashley Petty, a 2013 graduate of UNI and current English teacher for the Waterloo School District.

The Gallagher Bluedorn has also invited Duff and Andy Paris, director of Uncommon Sense, to visit classes in the communications and theatre departments at UNI to speak about inciting social change through the use of performance and theatre.

Uncommon Sense is a theatrical work commissioned by the Gallagher Bluedorn and developed by Tectonic Theater Project of New York, elevating awareness about the autism spectrum. The play follows the lives of multiple families of persons with autism, including stories from Iowa. Intricately woven to encompass different viewpoints, it provides the audience with a rounded perspective of a day in the life.

The Gallagher Bluedorn seeks to raise awareness of individuals who work and live on the autism spectrum. The goal of this production centers around facilitating critical consideration of neurodiversity and disrupting the labeling attached to differently abled bodies. Extraordinarily, Uncommon Sense offers Iowans a national stage to engage the world in powerful dialogue, not only furthering the development of awareness, but more so, nurturing deeper understanding and acceptance.

Uncommon Sense premieres at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22, at the Gallagher Bluedorn. Tickets can be purchased at any UNItix location, at www.gbpac.com/uncommonsense or by calling 319-273-4849.