INTO THE SPOTLIGHT shares the backstories and journeys of adults with differing disabilities from the first call, offering them the part to stepping on stage six months later. The film highlights the unique challenges and triumphs of the Spotlight Musical Theater program’s participants and provides an inspiring look at the power of the performing arts to bring people together, create meaningful connections, and inspire a community.
A heartfelt story of how a script, a stage, and a theater program composed of adults with disabilities celebrate their creativity, explore life’s complexities, and empower a community, in their own words and their own way.
Emmy Award-winning director of scripted and documentary film & television Thaddeus D. Matula, is best known as the director of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries PONY EXCESS and BRIAN AND THE BOZ, with the former landing as the most-watched documentary premiere in the network’s history.
Ricky Townsend is a producer/director/editor and community leader in the intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDD) space. He began his film career working for Academy Award-winning producer Edward Saxon. His work includes the American Film Institute; the public relations arm for Warner Bros. -CRAZY STUPID LOVE (2011), HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011); the in-theatre marketing department for STX Entertainment – THE GIFT (2015), BAD MOMS (2016); and Sendero.
The Spotlight Musical Theater is a theater group composed of older teens and adults with disabilities who work with a professional artistic team for six months to create and perform an original musical. Created by Sue Ringle, Spotlight Musical Theater is part of the Belong Disability Program, a community initiative at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. The programs are free and open to anyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who is or has a family member affected by a disability.
This incredibly uplifting documentary has qualified to be considered for a 2024 Academy® Award.
AG & Art FF – September 16th at 2pm at the Journey Downtown Theatre, CA, USA