DREAMS OF AN AUTISTIC PLAYWRIGHT written by Jaison Hart is a delightful, humorous, hopeful and touching play that educates us about the challenges of living with autism. It demonstrates the gifts a person with autism can bring to his community.
The play was written by Jaison Hart, a young man who can not speak with his mouth, and who types to communicate, when he was 19 years old.
The play is about Jaison’s day to day life and his dream world filled with cartoon fairy tale characters who advise him on how to make friends. In his dream world, there is an Ogre who mentors Jaison, an Arabian princess who encourages him, a Genie who brings humor and fun, and a Little Mermaid who also can not speak. The play touches your heart as you come to learn how much someone who looks like they do not care about friendship, actually longs deeply for a true friend.
In the process of writing the play, Jaison met Dr. Oliver Gerland, professor of Theater and Dance at Colorado Univeristy. Dr. Gerland recognized the value of the work in progress and spent a year mentoring Jaison as he wrote the play through a process called a Read Through. In the spring of 2008, the play won The Screenwriters award given by The Family Academy of Christian Educators. In the summer of 2009, the play received a staged reading at Colorado University. Colorado ACTS, local community theater school performed the play under the direction of Sharon Luchene in January 2011. Three of the four nights of the performance the furnace was not working and yet, the audience sat riveted to their seats and remained for an hour long discussion following the play. That performance was videotaped, and in 2015, the DVD version of the play was available for viewing in at the National AutCom Conference in Manchester, NH.