TILT Performance Group presents
Book, Music & Lyrics by Andrea Grody
Additional Lyrics by Brandon Michael Lowden
Live and In-Person at Violet Crown City Church
1300 Morrow Street, Austin Tx 78757
From October 28th - November 6th, 2022
Harrison: Michael Galvin
Laura: Yadira Uranga & Jourdan Huerta
Jill: Michelle Alexander
Jamie: Claude Chibib
Rachel: Kelsey Smith
Peter: Blake Common
Piano: Rob Greenfield
Cello: Isabel Tweraser
Violin: Alex Caplis-Tuttle
Flute: Dan Torosian
Production Stage Manager: Lynn Beaver
Assistant Stage Manager: Kristen Gooch
Photography & Videography: Dave Hawks
Producing Artistic Director: Adam Roberts
Executive Director: Amy Tarver
Audio Description: Art Spark Texas
ASL Interpretation: Ploeger ASL Interpreting
Strange Faces examines the trials and triumphs of three families navigating autism. From parents Jill and Dell searching for answers for their young son Jamie, to siblings Peter and Rachel truly growing closer through adolescence to Harrison and Laura redefining their relationship as adults.
Three families with one motivation tie their stories together - the willingness to love unconditionally and the strength to try. Against the odds and stereotypes presented by society, these families stick together.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
The work they create...is a vital part of an important national conversation, and there is nothing else like it on the Austin stage.
TILT Performance Company was a fun romp of a show with a lot of heart and a fantastic message that is great for audiences of all ages.
The Austin Chronicle
I settle in and quickly found myself in awe of the passion, dedication, and talent put forth by a wholly inspirational cast.
Shattering disability stereotypes.
TILT envisions a Central Texas where people with disabilities flourish as artists through our mission to shatter disability stereotypes through inclusive theatre.
To achieve this mission, we are guided by our values of inclusive theatre, artistic originality, meaningful employment, impactful education, strategic collaborations and fun!
Meet our team
Become a Sustaining Member Today!
TILT creates because of our amazing family of supporters. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Adam Roberts - Amy and Austin Tarver - Anthony Hope - Carmen Hope - Betsy Frost - Erin Tarver - Gail Dalrymple - James Bursnide - Jane Newchurch - Jody Scalpati - Joe Carr - John and Elizabeth Tarver - Anonymous - Kyle Ferguson - Austin Youth Fitness - Laura Richardson and Geoff Riddle - Lucy Miller-Downing - Lynda Frost and Dennis Borel - Maggi Joseph - Melanie Johnston - Rachelle Chery - Sally Jeaux - Sherri Underbrink - Stephanie Reich and Melanie Moore - Susan Joy Parker - Susan Bradley - Susie Angel and Juan Munoz -
Therese Ruffing and John Blinn.
Note from Andrea Grody
Strange Faces began as my college thesis at Princeton University. I was inspired by my own experiences as the sibling of a person with Asperger’s syndrome and by the investigative theatre practices of the Civilians, an innovative theatre company in New York City founded by Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman. The show began as a song cycle based primarily on interviews that I turned, as the Civilians do, into monologues and songs. As the piece developed and recurring characters evolved, it morphed into a book musical.
The original production, which I also directed, premiered at Princeton in April 2011. It went better than I could have imagined; we sold out every performance, and the emotional impact was enormous. Autistic and non-autistic people alike told me how the piece resonated with them and that it changed the way they saw the world and their relationships.
I pursued further professional opportunities for the piece, including a reading in NYC in June 2013, but without a hard deadline and with my music directing career taking more of my time, the rewriting I wanted to do fell by the wayside. In early 2020, I decided to record some demos and officially put the piece to bed. Instead, the pandemic delayed my recording plans, and in the interim, I met Adam Roberts, who told me about TILT and opened the door for an unexpected new life for Strange Faces.
I’m thrilled that Strange Faces has found its way to the neurodiverse artists with whom it belongs. The conversation about autism has grown tremendously since I first wrote the piece — Asperger’s isn’t even an official diagnosis anymore! — and the fact that my work still resonates with these artists is the best result I could imagine. The version you are seeing today is significantly different from the original, with most of the rewriting focusing on empowering the characters and deepening their relationships. Removing the box of Asperger’s created some exciting new opportunities, and perhaps my favorite development of this revision is that the character Jamie is now fully nonverbal. Let this not be the first time a nonverbal autistic character appears in a musical, expressing himself through song in ways he cannot through words, just as musical theatre intends for us to do.
While I hope this won’t be the end of the road for Strange Faces, this production has already far surpassed my dreams for the show. I am so grateful to be part of the TILT family and delighted that you are meeting these characters through the lens of the incredible company on stage today. I hope the piece speaks to you the way it has spoken to many others and that it becomes part of the fabric through which you view the world.