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Magik Theatre's production to cast new light on dyslexia

Amy Abrigo and Venny Mortimer
The Magik Theatre
Amy Abrigo and Venny Mortimer

A little stage magic is happening downtown, starting on Saturday night at the Magik Theatre on South Alamo.

“The Magik Theatre is a professional theater for young audiences. So that means it's adult professional actors performing for children and their families and their schools,” said Magik’s Artistic Director Anthony Runfola.

Their current production has an interesting genesis.

“The show is called Eddie and Vinnie, and it's a world premiere production,” he said. “We were approached before the pandemic by an organization called Celebrate Dyslexia about creating a play that centered on a character with dyslexia.”

The pandemic set the production schedule back by a couple of years. The storyline follows the main character, Eddie, and his best friend, a pet gecko lizard.

“And Eddie is struggling in school with dyslexia, and he faces the prospect of summer school if he can't get his grades up,” Runfola said. “And throughout the show, we're trying to figure out if Vinny has the gecko is always distracting him or is he actually encouraging him to lean into his unique mind.”

Amy Abrigo and Venny Mortimer
The Magik Theatre
Amy Abrigo and Venny Mortimer

Runfola said that while you may not be dyslexic, you surely know several people who are.

“One in five people have dyslexia and unfortunately, it goes undetected,” he said. “Maybe you come see the show and you might recognize some of the behaviors that Eddie has in your own child, or a teacher might see that in one of their students, and it might encourage them to look a little deeper into what might be happening with that with that child.”

The show starts this Saturday and runs through October 28th.

“We perform for the general public on the weekends, but throughout the week, schools can have field trips to the Magik Theatre and come see the show that way,” he said.

They’ll also feature a sensory-friendly performance on Tuesday the 25th. The theater is at the west end of Hemisfair, adjacent to Yanaguana Garden.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii