Tectonic Theater Project

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UNCOMMON SENSE

By Andy Paris* and Anushka Paris-Carter

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Our nation, and indeed the world, is being confronted with a new perspective on what is ‘normal,’ or ‘typical’ behavior. In asking people what they think of when they hear the word ‘autism,’ the array of answers we have received is a spectrum all of its own. Popular perceptions of autism include that it is a social disease, an epidemic say some. Though isolation is often the result of living on the autism spectrum, personal experience leads us to other territories. What is the autistic social construct? Is autism a disease in search of a cure, or could it be an evolutionary necessity that will allow us to adapt and continue on as a species? Is autism new, a figment of our psychological imaginings, or perhaps it has always been with us, yet never identified? Our understanding of autism could have a global impact on how we view humanity for generations to come. Using technology, explorations of theatrical form, personal narratives, and scientific data, all within a historical context, Uncommon Sense (working title) will investigate what it means to live in a world outside the bounds of ‘normal.’

* indicates member of our resident company