Asperger’s Are Us: A One of a Kind Comedy Troupe

autism comedy troupe

 

It all started in the in Massachusetts during the summer of 2010, when the parents of three boys- Ethan Finlan, Jack Hanke, and Michael Ingemi- sent their sons to an autism camp.

This summer camp was a place where kids with Asperger’s could intermingle with other kids who also had the disorder. The boys then met their camp counselor Noah Britton and by the end of the summer, they became the best of friends. When the three boys turned 18 they created Asperger’s Are Us along with their counselor, the first comedy troupe featuring only entertainers on the autism spectrum.

Like any other comedians, it was clear what they wanted to do: make people laugh. Their content they created were inspired by things that they found funny. The troop’s performances were well-recieved and created a buzz around the area. Local and eventually national news have covered the troupe’s story.

The witty young men use this notoriety as an opportunity to speak out about autism-rights activism. Often television and movies will falsely portray Asperger’s Syndrome. Ethan, Jack, Michael, and Noah make it a point that they are not here to poke fun at people with autism or to prove they can be funny despite having it. They would like to show they are funny because they are, well, funny. Their hilarity is appeals those with Asperger’s (or Aspies as they call it) and non-Aspies alike. It does deal with mature material so it’s not suggested that children attend.

They are currently in the process of filming their documentary, Asperger’s Are Us: A True Story. Alex Lehmann, director and producer, records their journey as comedians writing, rehearsing, and preforming together. And, as their trailer suggests, to the culmination of their most difficult and entertaining performance yet. Part of the documentary also focuses on their daily lives including private moments of vulnerability and honesty. Lehmann is determined to make the film something they are all proud of. Through this experience he has learned so much about comedy, humanity, and autism.

You can catch them at their next performance, which is free and open to the public, at Drexel University on May 29th. The following day they will be at The Riot Theater in Jamaica Plain, MA for $10.

To view the original article or watch the documentary’s trailer, click here

Written by Raiza Belarmino

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