The mission of Tellin’ Tales Theatre is to shatter barriers between the disabled and non-disabled worlds through the transformative power of personal story. We bring together children and adults from both communities to share their stories in theatrically innovative productions and programs to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance.
Tellin’ Tales exists to create a bridge between children and adults with disabilities and those without disabilities through the nurturing and innovative performances of people’s personal stories. This is achieved through mentoring and collaboration. A key goal is to bring together diverse populations all the while helping them to recognize commonalities and build a strong sense of community in Chicago.
What makes Tellin’ Tales Theatre different from other organizations is not only its mission and methodology, but the remarkable balance of volunteers and mentors – with and without disabilities – dedicated to giving children and adults a forum for writing and performing transformative works.
The program is truly unique and its results are life-changing – for the students, the families, the siblings and the audience. At the 20th Anniversary Celebration in May 2016 numerous Six Stories Up “alumni” and siblings returned sharing how Tellin’ Tales has positively impacted their lives, their perspectives and career choices.
The company’s Artistic Director and co-founder, Tekki Lomnicki, a business and theater professional, is also a person with a disability who is deeply rooted in the disability community. She is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in New Performance Forms, the 2008 3Arts Artists Award in Theater and the 2010 Grigsby Award for Excellence in Solo Performance, the 2014 Dan Van Hecke award for outstanding leadership and service to the disability community and the 2016 Dukes of Distinction Award. Tekki is also Vice President of Little People of America District 6 and serves on the inclusion committee of Old St. Mary’s Church in Chicago.