Our facilitators are an integral part of our ensemble, helping to ensure all of our actors have a personalized and fun experience in class. This past year, we were lucky to have SIX new facilitators. Today in the spotlight, meet one of our new teammates, BRADEN!
Name: Braden Cleary
Birthday: September 15
Hometown: Valparaiso, IN
How long have you been working with ABLE? Penzance marked the end of my first season!
Why did you start working with ABLE? Had you worked with people with special needs before? I started working with ABLE after seeing Twelfth Night at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre as a part of the Shakespeare 400 Festival. I was completely blown away. I had not worked with people with special needs prior to working with ABLE, but had a solid amount of education experience using social-skills development pedagogy in a theatre space. I was glad that my teaching background offered a great transition into ABLE’s work, but I am still learning so much about my communication and engagement skills from the seasoned TAs and Facilitators. It’s a beautiful model and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get to be a part of it.
What’s your job when you’re not with us? Manager of Sales and Marketing at Imagination Theater and a freelance teaching artist with Columbia College Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Chicago Youth Shakespeare, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Mudlark Theatre
What are some of your favorite hobbies? Yoga, reading, and brunch. Anywhere and everywhere.
Do you have a hidden talent? I can wiggle my ears!
Who is your favorite actor/performer? What do you like about them? I have to admit I’m Team Ben Platt right now and spend a lot of time screaming the lyrics to “Waving Through a Window” in my car.
If you won a million dollars, what would you do? I’d pay off all my debt, pay off my parent’s debt and go on a LONG vacation to a place I’ve never been before. I’ve never been to Europe so maybe I’d start there.
What’s your go-to dance party song? “Green Light” by Lorde and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. It’s not a dance party without Whitney.
Anything else we should know?: I’m currently working on my Master’s and getting registered as a Drama Therapist. I can’t wait to bring these competencies back to the actors in the Ensemble :).