The Woodlands and Open Up Pittsburgh Put the Spotlight Creativity

The Woodlands Foundation, in partnership with Open Up Pittsburgh, have created a Mini-Musical Theater Production program to benefit participants with disabilities.  The program will span 10 weeks taking place from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at The Woodlands’ 52-acre campus in Wexford. During the workshops, participants age 22 and over will learn collaborative skills through theater games teaching improvisation, body awareness, vocal awareness, listening skills, and creative expression.


Open Up Pittsburgh founder, Tessa Karel, leads improvisational theater games for Woodlands participants.

“I recently observed the empowering work facilitated by the artist-teachers from Open Up Pittsburgh, collaborating with adults with disabilities here at the Woodlands Foundation during one of our summer camps. This creative and vibrant experience revealed how access to artistic practice, as a fundamental human right of expression, is an essential tool to transforming society,” said Jesse Solomon, director of programs at Woodlands. “The work of Open Up Pittsburgh guides all participates to the discovery of their most creative self, helping to rebuild spaces of expression where they often have disappeared.”


With missions centered on enrichment and accessibility, The Woodlands and Open Up Pittsburgh make for a dynamic duo. The interaction between Open Up Pittsburgh instructors and Woodlands’ staff creates the environment where participants can both learn and experiment creatively.



Open Up Pittsburgh offers accessible classes with the focus of tailoring classes to meet individual ability levels.  Classes in improv and theater games focus on the social and therapeutic benefits of imaginative, interactive games. Founded by Tessa Karel, a certified teacher of Special Education in Pennsylvania for grades K-12, Open Up Pittsburgh explores opportunities to help participants learn about themselves in fun and engaging ways.


It is the mission of The Woodlands to enrich the lives of children and adults with disability and chronic illness by providing adapted therapeutic programs that support and strengthen the development of skills in socialization, creative expression, environmental awareness, recreation, and spirituality at its fully-accessible Wexford, PA facility.


Spaces for the workshops are limited and early registration is recommended.  Further information and a schedule of Woodlands’ programming are available at