#wyostrong: Performing Arts group gives CES clients hands-on theater experiences
Communal Pancake has been a thing since June of 2017.
No, it’s not a breakfast club or funky new restaurant. CP is a Lander-based Performing Arts Company made up of Amara Fehring, Lily Draper, Kris Fehring and Cameron Fehring.
The obvious first question is, Communal Pancake? That’s your name?!
Amara Fehring, one of the founding members, said it’s an ode to close friends who used to meet up for brunch. One day the usual cinnamon roll they shared wasn’t available.
“So, instead we ordered one large pancake that coined the term ‘communal pancake.’ That morning, in particular, stays with all of us and it remains a symbol of our community and our friendships.”
The perfect name given their mission is to bring people together.
“We aim to build community by creating meaningful, shared experiences that will connect people through the performing arts – both by performing it and experiencing it,” said Amara.
Living that mission, in the fall of 2017, Amara and her mom Kris, also a member of Communal Pancake, began teaching acting classes for Community Entry Services clients in Lander.
“Shawn Griffin and I have been talking about doing classes for a little while now and it finally came to fruition. We love getting to watch the clients express themselves. They are brilliant, funny, and great at creating moments on stage,” Amara shared.
Shawn, the CEO of CES raved about the impact Communal Pancake is on their clients.
“The opportunity for the people we support to be part of the performing arts is priceless. They get to be part of something within the community and learn new things and make new friends. This helps CES in meeting our mission of empowering people with disabilities…through inclusion within the community.”
The classes at CES have progressed to active work with Communal Pancake on an upcoming production. CES clients are assisting with “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani. Set to open next week at the CES building in Lander. This show is serving as a stepping stone for the students.
Amara walked through their current involvement and goals, saying “they’re getting involved with props, costumes, lighting, and even learning skills to help with house management. Our end goal is to put on a production in the late spring where the clients will act and help put together the set, props, and costumes for the show.”
If you’d like to support Communal Pancake and their work with CES – and see a fun show – you can buy tickets to “Almost, Maine” at this link. Tickets are $12 and the show opens on January 25th. CP also helps organize and performs at Unplugged, an event held at the Lander Bake Shop.