Autistic License…

May 7, 2012

William James wrote eloquently about how effective the brain can be even with cognitive or emotional impairment, that a brain needn’t be complete to contribute to society, form relationships and make meaningful change.

Autistic License, an autobiographical play by Stacey Dinner-Levin, is a delightful and lovely affirmation of James’s belief.  It tells the tales of Dinner-Levin and her family as they raised their son who has autism.  After hearing about this amazing play for over a year, I finally saw its most recent production at The Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.

It is easy to point to this play as autism awareness, and even activism.  It is those things, but much more.  There is a scene early on in the play where the mother says she is “not cut out for this.”  I have said this about parenthood so many times the line sent tears down my cheeks.

This play is for parents and families of those with autism or any other presentation that can cause a child to be extra-challenging to raise.  This play is for anyone whose ass has ever been kicked repeatedly by the daunting responsibility of parenthood.  And it is for anyone who loves good theater and a well-told story, because it is both of those in spades.

Technically, the script is tight, well-paced and makes wonderful use of several theatrical elements.  A review in the Pioneer Press says it best, “Stacey Dinner-Levin knows her material cold and delivers it with unflinching honesty.”

To stay tuned for upcoming productions, see

A sample of audience response can be viewed here.

The trailer from a previous production can be viewed here.

To buy a DVD of a recent production, go here.


One Response to “Autistic License…”

  1. How many of us – in the throws of whatever particular challenging motherhood stage we are currently enduring – have not felt or said that we “aren’t cut out for this”? It can’t be many. Motherhood will test your confidence in yourself more than just about anything else I have experienced. — I have a dear friend here who will love this; I’m going to share this with her and hope that I get to see it, myself. Thanks, Sally.

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