Andy O’Rourke Expands Theatre Opportunities for Peers with I/DD

Fostering Growth On Stage and Off

Many LIFEPlan members are drawn to the theater and the creative community of support they find there. Some start in the production tech crew like Andy O’Rourke in 2019 when he joined in his high school production of “Sister Act.”  

Andy was recently interviewed by News 10 about his theatre experience and plans he has to expand theater opportunities for his peers. Andy said,

 I found my niche in high school but that’s only part of the story. 

Andy has recently launched a non-profit called “All Abilities Productions of Upstate NY.” He started a Go Fund Me campaign to help finance the production of the first performance by December 2024. Andy plans to offer drama classes, exploring virtual and in person options.  

The mission of All Abilities Productions is to foster growth on and off-stage for people of all abilities. 

We strive to open the experience to everyone, no matter the boundaries and regardless of physical or mental disabilities,” said Andy, in describing how All Abilities Productions will benefit others.

Erin Stratton, Andy’s LIFEPlan Care Manager said,

Andy is a bright young man that is dedicated to his efforts in theater. He’s got a great sense of humor and is an amazing advocate for himself!

In addition to his new production company, Andy is currently working towards receiving a bachelor’s degree in Theater Management at SUNY Empire State College. The program is unique in allowing Andy to create his own degree and receive credit for past theater experience.  

Erin has worked with Andy for 8 months. Erin observed that Andy does not let his disability hold him back from achieving his goals.

Andy is working towards big things!