Who Are We?
DreamStreet Theatre Company is a registered, 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides education and inspiration for developmentally disabled individuals with a passion for the performing and creative arts. Our performances attempt to breakdown stereotypes and illustrate the profound effect art can have on life.
Through large-scale theatrical productions, workshops, community outreach performances, and in-home resources, DreamStreet helps those with developmental disabilities to strengthen their interpersonal skills, to build confidence and to become role models in their communities.
DreamStreet Theatre Company was founded in 1998 by Karuna Heisler, a social worker, dancer, and performer. While working at the Young Adult Institute, Karuna saw that individuals with developmental disabilities have limited access to much-needed services. She sought to change that and to bring joy to the lives of special needs adults through theatre. Despite Karuna’s untimely passing, her family and a group of passionate professionals continue to support her legacy, and the special needs community, through the DreamStreet Theatre Company.
Karuna was a great leader, a humanitarian giant, and a dynamic motivator for those feeling disenfranchised with developmental disabilities. She was a New York City social worker and rallied for the rights of those with Down's Syndrome, Autism, and Developmental Disabilities. She started the first socialization skills department at The Young Adult Institute for People with Disabilities (YAI). Her work ethic set the bar; her ideas were propelled by the fire in her gut. She had a colossal personality and presence filled with love, wisdom and self-expression.
Len Heisler has watched Dreamstreet grow into the company Karuna had dreamed it would be. He is thrilled that it has continued to evolve and change the lives of individuals with special needs who seek community, social support and a creative outlet through the performance.
IN LOVING MEMORY