The Dixie offers first-ever drama therapy classes


HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — One theater teacher is bringing drama therapy to rural areas to help those with disabilities in West Tennessee.

Thomas Levi Carter works on a costume at drama therapy camp Friday morning at the Dixie Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon.

“I love to have fun, and I’ve been to 31 plays in my life,” Carter said.

The camp is split up into two sessions at the Dixie.

A morning class is offered for adults with intellectual and development disabilities, and an afternoon class is offered for middle school students with autism.

“What’s really important is to focus on the ability and not the disability,” drama therapy teacher Sarah Edwards said.

Edwards came from Kansas State University to teach the class. She says through drama therapy, students are able to build social skills while having fun.

“It’s just important to have a space where these people can come to and feel safe, but also to express themselves any way that they want,” she said.

Edwards says her goal is to bring more theater therapy to rural places like Carroll County.

“I’m just so thrilled to bring drama therapy to these rural areas, because it works,” she said.

Angela Chasse, who works at the Dixie,  says this is the first time classes like these have been offered at the performing arts center, but it won’t be the last.

“We are just so thrilled to be able to offer something like this for a part of the population that doesn’t always have the summer camps that other kids would have,” she said.

The drama therapy camp lasts for three weeks. When it ends, students will present a short film that will be showcased at the Dixie.

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