Two Santa Monica based charities have joined forces to produce a play featuring blind actors and autistic musicians.

Organizers said the play is unique in its use of artists who perceive the world differently from most and they hope the experience is as inspiring as it is challenging for everyone involved.

The two charities, Theatre By The Blind, and Rex & Friends, are presenting ‘A Reason To Love’, a play that shows everyday life through the interactions at “Kitty’s and Curls” hair salon. The characters experience love, loss, change, challenge and critical decisions in their lives. The play includes petty crimes, family deaths, romance and a transgendered person reconnecting with family.

Greg Shane, founded the non-profit Theatre By The Blind in 2007 and is also the Director of ‘A Reason To Love’. This will be the 18th production by this organization and they hope to bring light to the audience in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas, showing off the skills of these actors.

The eighteen actors don’t work on just any stage; Shane has personally created an custom stage to help the ten visually impaired actors quickly move from one spot to another.

“Its inspiring not only for the actors, as well for the audience,” he said. “This production is very unique because we decided to partner with another organization, Rex & Friends. They have a similar vision of empowering individuals to overcome their challenges.”

These actors don’t just bring drama, laughter and fun to the stage they bring their musical abilities. There will be various musical performances, eight numbers to be exact. The musicians encounter the challenge of being autistic yet shows their gifted abilities to move people with their music and talents.

“We complement and cheer each other on. I have no doubt in my mind that the next show in October will touch hearts and change lives forever,” said actor Matthew Saracho. “Once the people take their seats for the show, I have great faith that they will see just exactly what we’re truly made of.”

The musicians are part of the Rex & Friends organization.

“The charity focuses on the mission to provide music therapy and education for individuals who are blind or autistic in Southern California,” said Founder and President Matt Wolf. “I would like the audience to walk away with the understanding of how deep that talent is.”

Actor Connor Head, calls himself a theatre nut. Connor gradually lost his sight growing up, leading him to Theatre By The Blind.

“To be honest, this whole group has changed it for me,” he said. “It is a family, we support each other through it all, and now we get to show everyone our talents and things we are capable of.”

Performances begin on Oct. 19 and 20 with a pair of sold-out shows but tickets are still available for performances on Oct. 26, Oct. 27, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. The production will be located in the Magicopolis theater in Downtown Santa Monica 1418 4th St. Tickets are $25. For reservations and information visit www.creoutreach.org or call (310) 902-8220.

By Marina Andalon

marina@www.smdp.com