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Alumni News

Empowerment Through Creativity

November 16, 2012

Danielle Strnad

Social Service Worker – Gerontology, 1995 

Danielle Strnad

Danielle Strnad will soon wrap up a very busy year. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. Danielle is the Founder and Artistic Director of DramaWay, which offers creative arts programming for individuals of all abilities while specializing in programs geared to those with special needs.

DramaWay has grown from six students in 1999 to numerous large classes offered in over 14 locations across the GTA including Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough. They also offer multi-art summer camps for children and adults, as well as classes in creative movement and art for both “mainstream” individuals and those with special needs. In the DramaWorks and RhythmWorks program, youth and adults with special needs 14 years old and up work all year on presenting a final full-length production.

Having recently expanded once again, DramaWay now offers DramaWorks in Toronto’s east end, and SocialWorks on Friday nights in Mississauga. “These (and more) have been developed and created inspired by parental request as we adapt our programming to meet the needs of our participants and their families,” says Danielle. DramaWay’s programs can also be custom-designed for schools or daycare facilities.

DramaWay was also featured in an Ontario Arts Council public service announcement in 2012 which was widely broadcast. The organization has received local and national media attention over the years, including recent coverage on Global News with Susan Hay.

“We are delighted to have so much happening. One of the most exciting things is our soon-to-be-completed documentary created by Lizz Hodgson which was recently screened at an advocacy event called Making Connections and we are also hoping to release it at a variety of film festivals.”

After graduating from Sheridan, Danielle received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Drama and Education from Concordia University. Her volunteer work with the university’s Drama Therapy program convinced Danielle that she could blend her social work and theatre training as a Drama Facilitator.

“DramaWay’s programs enhance the self-esteem, social development and communication skill of its participants, allowing them to connect with their community,” explains Danielle. “Individuals with special needs should not be hidden away and given menial tasks. They are extremely talented with so much to offer.”

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