Major Impact Theater group puts on performance by adults with disabilities

Founded in 2014, Major Impact Theater has written and produced the theater group’s previous five specially adapted musical plays.

The Newhall Family Theatre will host the first show of its kind by adults with disabilities next month.

“Harry and the Magical Rock” will be performed May 12 by Major Impact Theater, a unique, volunteer driven nonprofit theater group that adapts plays for performance by actors with intellectual and physical disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley and north Los Angeles County.

Major Impact provides an “emotionally safe environment that builds skills and confidence to help change audience attitudes about adults with disabilities,” said organization board member Joan Parrish-Major. This is the theater group’s first time performing at a full performance venue like the Newhall. Previously, the group primarily performed at local schools.

“As a parent of one of the actors, SCV is a very caring community but has limited services for adults with disabilities,” Parrish-Major said. “We encourage the actors to step out of their comfort zones and develop pride, empathy, commitment and focus — all are emotional health and social skills areas.”

Founded in 2014, Major Impact Theater founders Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis have written and produced the theater group’s previous five specially adapted musical plays.

“The (founders) truly understand how to tap into the strengths of the actors,” Parrish-Major said. “It’s heartwarming to see the surprised reactions of the audience members to see actors performing scenes with incredible confidence and professionalism. With the confidence the actors have, anything is attainable.”

Major Impact’s performances usually fill 300 seats. For “Harry and the Magical Rock,” they are trying to fill 500 at the Newhall theater.

Grammy-nominated composer and keyboardist Wally Minko will also be performing for the theater’s pre-show during intermission.

Assigned seat tickets are $15 and will be available for purchase online at until May 5.

Tickets will also be sold the night of the performance for $20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the pre-show beginning at 7 p.m. The regular show begins at 7:30 p.m.

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