On December 3rd, The Arts Council of Greater Lansing awarded The 2019 Arts Educator Applause Award to Michigan State University Department of Theatre faculty Dionne O’Dell.
The Arts Council’s Applause Awards recognize Greater Lansing individuals, businesses, artists, educators, arts organizations and advocates who’ve made significant contributions to the arts in the Capital region. Awardees are chosen based on artistic excellence, sustained contributions, unusual achievements, perseverance and a deep commitment to the arts and cultural community.
O’Dell, who specializes in teaching children’s theatre, and writing and directing plays for youth and community, was recognized for her work creating innovative, multi-sensory, interactive theatrical performances for neurodiverse audiences. FARM! A MUSICAL EXPERIENCE, her musical written specifically for students with ASD and other diagnoses, toured special education classrooms in Michigan in 2018 & 2019. Her second play for neurodiverse audiences, SODA POP SHOP, will tour to Michigan special education classrooms in the spring of 2020. She is currently collaborating with University of Michigan School of Architecture socio-sensory architecture researchers Sean Ahlquist on a piece titled POND ADVENTURE with plans to produce in 2020/21.