How TFA Got Started
To empower people with disabilities, nurture community connections and overturn stereotypes through performing arts.
What TFA Does:
Theatre for All (TFA) provides an extensive theatre education and opportunities for people with disabilities.
TFA trains members in a wide range of performance arts skills and creates high quality plays/films that are performed to a public audience.
TFA advocates for employment within the arts, creative empowerment and social integration for people with disabilities.
TFA generates a vibrant and nurturing community for its members, their families and teachers.
TFA is an Official Vocational Rehabilitation Vendor, training and providing employment within the arts.
TFA believes in the power of theatre to create positive change and that everyone deserves access to the arts.
Life is better when we come together to play, laugh, explore, express, sing and dance!
Theatre for All was born out of a realization that people with disabilities who were passionate about theatre, had very little access to the arts. This had to change.
So in 2015 Kim Henry, Dylan Patterson, and Gina Gambony established TFA, following a semester of successful outreach work at Laney High School.
A registered 501(c)(3) non profit company, TFA continues to grow. Since inception, TFA has tripled the membership, doubled performances, created a dance company, a choir, a Leadership program with employment opportunities and continues to expand the Outreach program, bringing arts into schools for students with disabilities at n0-cost.
While TFA leans towards life affirming, positive messages, TFA is not affiliated to any religious denomination or political party and holds the freedom of creative exploration as a precious tenent of the creative process. The TFA Companies are age 18+ and reserve the right to explore a wide range of issues and ideas.
TFA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations.
Kim Henry - Co-Founder, Executive/Artistic Director and Outreach Teaching Artist
Kim Henry has a BA honors degree in Drama from Manchester University, UK. Her work has taken her to Bosnian refugee camps, schools in India and to International Theatre Festivals throughout Europe before landing on Wilmington's sandy shores. Kim is passionate about her work with Theatre for All, and in the power of theatre to take people beyond their limitations.
Leading TFA to be a compliant, accountable and thriving non-profit, that empowers members and celebrates diversity is her super power. Kim fuses her love of theatre, dance, puppetry and music to nurture the creative process, self-expression and connection.
Eleanor Stafford - Assistant Artistic Director
Eleanor went to school at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles for acting, and at UNCW for my bachelor’s degree in special education. She has performed in theaters in Michigan, Kansas, and California. In Wilmington, she has led performance classes for all ages, from preschool to adult, and joined the Theatre for All family in 2019.
Our Brilliant Board
Dylan Patterson - President of the Board, Founding member, and Volunteer
Dylan teaches creative writing, composition, and literature at Cape Fear Community College and has worked with adolescents through agencies such as The Methodist Home for Children and The Wilmington Treatment Center. His passion to nurture creative opportunities for folks with disabilities stems from volunteer experiences at camps Jabberwocky and Zeno Mountain Farm. Supported by a CFCC Foundation grant, Dylan created In Cahoots, an inclusive program that produced short videos. A filmmaker and writer, Dylan brings his creative energy to Theatre for All and is currently president of the Board.
Susan Sewell - Treasurer
Susan has run multiple successful businesses, sat on a myriad of non-profit boards and is always working to make the world a better place. Following her first TFA show, she was so astounded by the positive impact it had on both the participants and audience, that she has been a dedicated board member, savvy Treasurer and passionate fundraiser ever since.
Janet Hughes - Administrator
Janet was in special education for 33 years. After experiencing the power of a TFA class on her own students through the TFA Outreach program, Janet has worked tirelessly to ensure that as many people as possible have access to TFA by being the TFA Administrator and avid supporter.
Stephanie Stokley - Board member, Social Media Manager and Performer
Stephanie has a passion for making the world a better place and has loved TFA since she read an article about the company back in 2017. Currently, admissions officer with Project Transitions, Stephanie is a dedicated TFA board member, volunteer and facilitates the social media committee, in addition to participating in shows.
Carrie Assata - Board Member
A singer, spoken word poet, advocate for youth at-risk and activist for social justice and equity, Carrie feels an affinity for the TFA mission and loves working with the TFA members. A natural leader, Carrie is a powerful point of connection between diverse areas of the wider community and is passionate about the creative arts as a unifying force for positive change.
Cole Marquis - Board member and Head of Backstage Committee
Cole is the Technical Manager of Thalian Hall and has been involved in the arts and music for over 30 years. He is honored to use his technical experience to support his favorite theatre company and to provide TFA shows with the highest production quality possible.
Laura has her M.Ed. in Autism and has been a special educator for 30 years. Laura has served as the president of the NHCS Advisory Council for Exceptional Students, as a member of the WAVE Council for Accessibility and is currently a mentor for the Special Olympics North America–Youth Ambassador program. Gina Gambony, Kim Henry, and Dylan Patterson came to her with the seeds of TFA many years ago and asked her if she’d like her students to participate— the rest is history–and also the future! She’s thrilled to serve on the board of TFA to support outreach efforts to make quality theater education accessible to all.