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The Spotlight Series

Written by: Patrick Oliver Jones
  • Summary

  • The Spotlight Series delves into the inspiring world of Only Make Believe (OMB), a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing interactive theater to children's hospitals, special education schools, and care facilities. With over two decades of heartwarming service in New York City, OMB has extended its reach nationwide, and host Patrick Oliver Jones is here to shed light on their incredible journey. Since 2010, Patrick has worn many hats within the organization over the years, having served as a volunteer, media consultant, gala assistant, and even a short time as a part-time staff member. And in each episode, he sits down with the remarkable individuals who drive and support OMB, from the dedicated staff and board members leading the charge to the talented actors who bring joy to children in hospitals and who perform in their annual galas. So join us for an intimate and behind-the-scenes glimpse into the profound impact that OMB makes in the lives of children and discover heartwarming stories and incredible moments that define this nonprofit's exceptional mission.
    @2023 Broadway Podcast Network
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  • EPIC Players and Their Spring Awakening
    May 14 2024
    In the world of theater, EPIC Players (Empower, Perform, Include, Create) stands as a beacon of inclusivity and empowerment. Founded on August 25, 2016, this nonprofit, neuro-diverse theater company is on a mission to revolutionize the landscape of performing arts by providing professional opportunities and fostering supportive communities for Neurodivergent and Disabled artists. EPIC Players doesn't just stage productions; they orchestrate movements. Through their inclusive mainstage productions, musical cabarets, original showcases, skills-based classes, and career resources, they are rewriting the narrative of employment for individuals living with developmental disabilities. In a world where only 32% of eligible working-age individuals with disabilities are employed, EPIC Players is leading the charge for change. Determined to shatter stereotypes and challenge societal norms, EPIC Players confronts the stark reality that only 2% of roles in the entertainment industry are written for characters living with disabilities, and a staggering 94% of these roles are portrayed by able-bodied or neuro-typical actors. #changethestats isn't just a hashtag for EPIC Players; it's a battle cry for equality and representation. At the heart of EPIC's vision lies a commitment to providing a platform where neuro-diverse communities can not only be represented but also heard. With a minimum of two professional, neuro-diverse productions staged annually on New York City's prestigious stages, EPIC Players has carved out a space where creativity knows no bounds. From The Flea to The Sheen Center, from A.R.T./New York to the HERE Arts Center, their productions transcend barriers and captivate audiences with their authenticity and raw emotion. And now, they have unveiled their latest masterpiece, Spring Awakening. With music by Duncan Sheik and winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this show delves into the tumultuous journey of adolescence, exploring themes of attraction, desire, sex, insecurity, and the rollercoaster ride of young adult life. But what sets this production apart is its unique perspective, brought to life by the talented neurodivergent community members of EPIC Players. This isn't just a re-telling; it's a revelation—a testament to the power of inclusivity and the magic of theater. Stay tuned for Season 2 of The Spotlight Series in Fall 2024 as we focus on this amazing company and the EPIC work they are doing onstage and off. --- Music: "Divergence" by Filo Starquez is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Support by RFM - NCM: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    19 mins
  • Highlights from the 2023 Only Make Believe Gala
    Nov 8 2023
    Throughout the year, week after week, the actors of Only Make Believe, along with the staff, create and perform interactive and engaging theater in children’s hospitals, special education schools, and care facilities. It allows these children which medically fragile conditions to truly be the star of the show. But one night each year is set aside to celebrate the work that they do as well as continue to raise funds for this wonderful organization in their annual gala. And this final episode of the season will take you onto the red carpet as I got to speak with some of the presenters, performers, and honorees: Justin Guarini Alicia Quarles Brooke Shields Brad Oscar Natasha Yvette Williams Alyssa May Gold Caesar Samayoa Ellen Adair A. J. Shively Melinda Doolittle J. Harrison Ghee Orpeh --- To learn more about Only Make Believe and how you can be a part of their mission to help children, please visit their website for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    31 mins
  • Joe DiPietro, Playwright/Lyricist and Board Member with OMB
    Nov 1 2023
    Only Make Believe started in New York City and has since opened an office Washington, DC with outreach in several other cities as well. And every November they have an all-star gala on Broadway to raise funds and awareness for the incredible work they do for children across the country. For our sixth episode, I’m bringing you a conversation from my other podcast, Why I’ll Never Make It. Joe DiPietro is has been with OMB since its inception, serving on the board board of directors and has also been the director of that annual gala. Joe is certainly no stranger to theater, having been writing for the stage since 1991. His musicals and plays have received multiple awards and nominations on and off-Broadway, namely Memphis starring Montego Glover and the longest-running revue in New York history, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. In addition to his connection with Only Make Believe, we’ll talk about his first introduction to theater and then later on about his frist Broadway show All Shook Up. --- To learn more about the Only Make Believe gala and how you can be a part of their mission to help children, then please visit their website for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    22 mins

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