Katie Mann
April 10, 2014

I am not often nervous.  Being a theatre person I am used to public speaking which comes with a high tolerance for embarrassment.  When my students are nervous I tell them, “Oh, you’ll be fine.  Shake it out.”  But last Tuesday I was the one shaking. I was asked to partake in StartupNation, a radio… Read More

Katie Mann
April 3, 2014

At 4th Wall Theatre Company we teach all of our students three simple rules; be safe, be brave, and always be respectful.  We call them our “words to live by” as they are good guides outside the classroom as well.  Tuesday at our showcase with the Down Syndrome Guild (DSG) our instructors, Molly and Karen… Read More

Katie Mann
March 4, 2014

If you’re familiar with advertising in Metro Detroit, you know summertime Tiger’s baseball isn’t complete without hearing at least one, “Call 1-800-CALL-SAM” commercial.  The lawyer, Sam Bernstein, grew his sole practice into a family law firm with his three children.  When my mother, Diane Mann (aka the Purple Dotter and I went to the POHI/SXI Conference… Read More

Katie Mann
February 5, 2014

As co-founder of 4th Wall Theatre Company I often get asked, “What is 4th Wall?”  A good question.  And as any little theatre student would know the 4th Wall, like the word “theatre,” has two different meanings and spellings. Theatre vs Theater Although not a rule, die-hard thespians will insist there is a distinction between… Read More

Diane Mann
January 15, 2014

Loving Kindness In broad strokes, Part I discussed my thinking on disciplining with loving kindness. It starts with my perspective of being well-balanced and focusing on self-care. From that position of strength flows the patience and ability to teach, guide and help children maximize their potential. Part II discusses a few of the nuts and… Read More

Diane Mann
January 9, 2014

My Brand of Discipline My husband and I were raised by good-hearted parents who, along with their peers in the 1960’s, raised their families with harsher forms of discipline than seems to be the norm today. Yes we learned to respect others, to follow rules and most of us continue leading responsibly productive lives; but… Read More

Katie Mann
December 18, 2013

It is interesting to witness what happens when giving gets set in motion. When one gives, who receives? 4th Wall’s idea was to brighten up the day of some residents at a nearby Sunrise Assisted Living facility. The instructors worked for weeks with the students of the Down Syndrome Guild on learning Christmas carols; complete… Read More

Paul Pyrkosz
December 10, 2013

Imagine walking into a new class on the first day and the room being flooded with sunlight and then magnified by a wall of mirrors. Not every student appreciated all of that light. Some covered their eyes it was so bright. When I met this group a couple months ago, we were a mix of… Read More

Annie Klark
November 20, 2013

Since I was a young child, I’ve always known that there was magic in the theatre. The process of starting a production with nothing and ending up with a stage full of lights, costumes, music, movement, and sound effects is just the beginning. The true “theatre magic” lies in the transformation of actor into character,… Read More