Several area theater groups will combine their talents for "Acting for Autism: A Community Theatre Showcase" at the Youngstown Playhouse.
Proceeds will benefit the Autism Society of Ohio, Mahoning Valley and the event coincides with National Autism Awareness Month.
Aundrea Cika, director of the Mahoning Valley office, said, "It's pretty amazing. The theaters in town have a bit of a reputation for being competitive, and I personally am so excited they chose our charity to reap the benefits of their collaboration."
The fundraiser is being presented by the Youngstown Area Community Theatre Alliance and will feature performances from the Youngstown Playhouse, Victorian Players, Rust Belt Theater Company, Oakland Center for the Arts, Top Hat Theatre, Spotlight Players, Garage Theater and Liz Rubino Studios.
Coordinating the event on stage is John Cox.
"He has a foot in both arenas," Cika said. "He's a pediatrician who is passionate about taking care of children. At the same time, he's a passionate actor. Even in med school, he was on an improv team in Chicago."
Each theater group got to pick what they wanted to do. Some will showcase past productions; other will promote their upcoming shows with a sneak preview of what's to come.
"They're all doing different things," Cika said. "It's not all musicals."
And all of the performers will join in for the finale, along with some young adults on the autism spectrum.
"The toughest thing so far has been when can you do a rehearsal for the finale because everyone is in another show," she said.
They have been sending music and choreography to the performers via email so they can be ready for the abbreviated rehearsal schedule.
"Acting for Autism: A Community Theatre Showcase" starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Playhouse, 600 Playhouse Lane, Youngstown. Tickets are $35, which includes the show, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a raffle ticket to win two tickets to a future performance by all of the participating theaters.
Proceeds will be used for the local autism society's arts summer camp in August. For tickets or more information, call 330-743-9184.