Geordy's Story

Mother and Son Team Up in Autistic License

In 2005, Stacey Dinner-Levin wrote Autistic License, a play about the joys and challenges of raising her eldest son Geordy, who has autism. IN 2007, the play was staged for the first time at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis. Since then, it has been produced by several theater companies across the country. “I’ve been stunned by the rezones to it, “Dinner-Levin said. “It’s really taken on a life of it’s own.” This past November, Geordy Levin played himself when the play was staged at the Gremlin Theater in St. Paul. Dinner-Levin is amazed because she and her husband had not allowed Geordy to see the play at first, let alone be part of the performance. “We were afraid that he would revert to some previous behaviors which are acted out in the play, behaviors Geordy has worked hard to overcome.” She and her husband still worry about allowing him to act in the play, but they know acting seems to be therapeutic for Geordy. “I’ve only seen it as an empowering experience,” Dinner- Levin said.

“Geordy has been overjoyed at the notion of acting in the play. If he didn’t want to be here, we would know.” As an actor, Geordy has made tremendous improvement. He can re-create his past behaviors on cue, and take a tremendous amount of direction from Adam Arnold, the show’s director. “Geordy has great energy and he always wants to be here,” Arnold said. “We aren’t doing Geordy any favors. If anything, he’s doing us a favor.” Fraser staff person Elizabeth Egbert was Geordy’s backstage assistant. “I’ve helped him with entrances, exits and props. Geordy is easily over-stimulated, so if he makes a mistake or forgets a line, I can help him process and regulate his behaviors,” Egbert said. Egbert met Geordy in another theater performance before she worked for Fraser. “ I think that was the first time I worked with someone with autism. It may be why I work with kids with autism now. It is a pleasure and an honor to spend time with this artistic and talented young man. His performance brings me to tears.”

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