RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2021
Ty Freedman is a writer, educator, and former circus clown who grew up in a bakery outside of Boston… No, literally, upstairs. You have no idea what growing up with an abundance of baked goods can do for one’s disposition. He always had an inkling that he experienced the world a bit differently… that he could see stories where others didn’t, but with a late-in-life ASD diagnosis, it was finally confirmed, medically speaking. With over 15 years experience as a pre-school teacher and years and years of performing in children’s theatre across the US at some major theaters including the Geffen, Pasadena Playhouse, the Public Theatre, and Steppenwolf, he combined his various backgrounds to create, write and star in the award-winning kids cooking show, Ty the Pie Guy. Doubling down on his passion to create kids’ content, he attended Centennial College’s post-graduate program for Children’s Media in Toronto and now plans to change the world by makings kids laugh for a living.
After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2021 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 8-week, 24-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 22 – August 12, 2021. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. This Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award. Learn more: www.respectability.org/respectability-la-lab.
This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:
- Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company
- Gold Sponsors: A&E and Final Draft
- Silver Sponsors: NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS