Abira and the Mountain Visits Trailside

Shown+above+are+some+of+the+cast+members+from+Abira+and+the+Mountain.+The++two+character+in+front+of+the+others+are+in+fact+the+Mountain+and+Abira%2C+played+by+Ryan+Perry+and+Amy+Stone.
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Abira and the Mountain Visits Trailside

Shown above are some of the cast members from Abira and the Mountain. The  two character in front of the others are in fact the Mountain and Abira, played by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone.

Shown above are some of the cast members from Abira and the Mountain. The two character in front of the others are in fact the Mountain and Abira, played by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone.

Michael Hallinan

Shown above are some of the cast members from Abira and the Mountain. The two character in front of the others are in fact the Mountain and Abira, played by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone.

Michael Hallinan

Michael Hallinan

Shown above are some of the cast members from Abira and the Mountain. The two character in front of the others are in fact the Mountain and Abira, played by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone.

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The auditorium lights shut off; the actors take their places, however, something’s different. While usually an actors’ personal struggles are masked by a performance, this cast embraces them. The Same Sky Project is an organization whose cast is fully made up of people with physical and/or mental disabilities. They do this to raise awareness, as well as break down stereotypes and make a difference.

Emory Ellis
One of the two trees that were an integral part of the performance’s scenery. At the beginning of the musical, the leaves on the trees are labeled with the cast’s disabilities. By the end of the musical, the leaves have been turned over to reveal occupations.

The Same Sky Project is a group of performers who travel and use music to promote messages such as love and inclusion. This group was created by A Place To Be as a way to help individuals have a level of understanding for people who are different from them. They have been performing across Loudoun County. In fact, over 60,000 students have seen their performances. Trailside was visited by this initiative on February 22nd, 2019. Sixth and Seventh graders got to see a performance of one of their shows, Abira and the Mountain.

Abira and the Mountain was written by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone, who also star in the show as The Wise Mountain and Princess Abira respectively. After leaving a movie that featured an autistic main character, Perry, whom himself has autism, mentioned to Stone, who has cerebral palsy, that he would like to see more movies that featured main characters with disabilities. From there, the pair got to work creating an eighty-page screenplay.

Michael Hallinan
Shown above are some of the cast members from Abira and the Mountain. The two character in front of the others are in fact the Mountain and Abira, played by Ryan Perry and Amy Stone.

Abira and the Mountain is a fairy tale about a princess confined to a wheelchair discovering her purpose in life. Abira is a princess, who just like her actress Amy Stone, has cerebral palsy. Despite being unable to leave her wheelchair, she longs to explore outside of her castle and find her purpose. Her parents, however, frighten of how their kingdom’s subjects will treat her, refuse to let her leave. There in the castle she stays, until her sixteenth birthday. Her younger brother takes her to meet the kingdom’s residents without their parents knowing. There, she learns that her kingdom’s people also have to face challenges similar to her own. Abira figures out her purpose is to help improve the kingdom’s people’s lives.

While the phrase “treat others the way you want to be treated” isn’t anything foreign to most people’s ears, some lack a true understanding of the saying. The Same Sky Project strives to help students empathize with the struggles of people with mental and physical disabilities. “It kinda made me understand people with different special needs and how they’re trying to fit in with everyone else,” said seventh-grader Emily Ault.

After being visited by The Same Sky Project, the hope is that students will live their lives while being more accepting and inclusive. While most people live their lives ignorant to the challenges people with disabilities face, The Same Sky Project is trying to make a difference one school at a time.

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Abira and the Mountain Visits Trailside