Autism: The Musical is a call to arms, bringing attention to a modern-day epidemic while celebrating the value of the human spirit in overcoming any challenge. The film introduces Neal, Lexi, Henry, Adam and Wyatt - five autistic kids who, along with their parents, take part in a groundbreaking theatrical workshop. The Miracle Project was started by Neal's mother Elaine Hall with an eye towards helping children with autism express themselves while learning to socialize with other kids. Over the course of six months, we experience the frustrations, challenges and triumphs of the families both on stage and in their home lives as they prepare for the show. The creative process provides a key to unlocking the children's inner worlds. We also see how patience, understanding, love and community can be used to help children with autism better adapt to the world at large.
Autism is a developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. However, autism affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.
CRITICS KUDOS: "A moving testament to love and hope" (Hollywood Reporter), "As riveting as it is revelatory" (Variety); "The kids in Autism: The Musical deserve a standing ovation, right along with their parents," (The Seattle Times); "one of the most candid, down-to-earth, organically inspirational documentaries you'll ever see" (The Boston Globe); "Refreshingly, the film concentrates on positivity and tolerance for autistic children... and not on looking for something or someone to blame" (The Harford Courant).
Autism: The Musical premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and won Audience Awards at the Newport International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival and the Ft. Lauderdale Int. Film Festival. In addition, it was recently named by the AMPASA to the Documentary Feature Oscar® Award short list.
Autism: The Musical was directed and filmed by Tricia Regan; produced by Perrin Chiles, Tricia Regan and Sasha Alpert; executive produced by Jonathan Murray, Joey Carson, Janet Grillo, David S. Glynn and Kristen Stills; edited by Kim Roberts; music composed by Mike Semple. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.