Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Montclair Film and Vanguard Theater Company Partner for an Evening of Live Theater and Film in Recognition of Autism Awareness

presented by Vanguard Theatre in partnership with Montclair Film in recognition of Autism Awareness Month
Directed by Janeece Freeman Clark
Starring Doreen Oliver

WHEN: April 6 and 7, 7 PM. Friday’s April 6th show also includes a Pre-Show Reception and Meet & Greet at 6:00PM, with special tickets available for purchase.
Cinema505, 505 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair
Tickets and more information available at HERE


Vanguard Theater Company today announced a live performance of Montclair native Doreen Oliver’s powerful one-woman show. This performance, directed by Janeece Freeman-Clark, explores Oliver’s personal experience as a parent grappling with an autism diagnosis for her young son. 

The play will be followed by the short film COLOR MY MIND, which examines the impact of a childhood autism diagnosis on African-American parents.

“We are thrilled to partner with Montclair Film, pairing an award-winning play with a groundbreaking short film, to shine a light on how autism affects families across communities,” said Vanguard Theater Managing Director Jessica Sporn.

Says Oliver: I was born in Newark but am proud to be bred in Montclair! I'm an alum of Nishuane, Hillside (where I discovered my profound love of the performing arts), Glenfield and Montclair Kimberly Academy. My parents, Jeanette and Harvey Oliver, still live in town and my youngest son takes classes at Sharron Miller's Academy of the Performing Arts.  I'm looking forward to doing this show at "home."


Time Out New York, 4-star review: "A fresh and eye-opening look at what it’s like to raise an autistic child…Oliver paints a painful yet beautiful picture of the challenges that she and her son face daily….She radiates bravery and compassion, both as a performer and as a mother. I would happily have stayed beyond the one-hour running time just to hear her sing  the rest of "The Rainbow Connection:—one of many songs in her maternal repertoire— and learn more about how she and her inexplicably special Xavier experience the world.”  (Full review attached) “Fearless...Oliver takes the audience through a myriad of emotions and at times you completely forget that there is only one woman on that stage.”

Theatre Is Easy (Best of Fringe 2016): “Riveting....While one might expect a story about motherhood and the challenges of autism to be overly sentimental and preachy, this production is rather an honest, heartfelt tale about family, love, and motherhood that anyone might relate to.”

The New York Amsterdam News: “Oliver singlehandedly brings to life nail-biting dramatic and tense domestic moments.... The show tells a touching story with humor, at times bursting with the hard-hitting nature of reality.”


Premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) August 2016

  • Broke the record for the fastest sell-out of run in the festival's 20-year history.
  • Sold out first 4 performances on the first day of sales (one month before the first ​show).
  • Designated FringeFAVE, run extended

Second run at United Solo Festival (NYC), Fall 2017

  • WINNER, United Solo/Backstage Magazine Audience Award
  • Sold out entire run; three performances sold out prior to festival's opening


Everything Is Fine Until It’s Not left me breathless. Doreen Oliver’s eloquence as a writer is matched by her power as a performer.” – Brian Kates, Emmy-winning editor

“Beautiful, valuable work…spoke incisively about a more universal truth of parenting, and of mothering in particular: you can never know that you are actually doing everything right! Very moving, insightful and lasting.” – Carson Gleberman, Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, Bright Star and The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

“Ms. Oliver can sing and move and dance as well as she writes. She peopled the stage with lovable souls. This is a masterfully performed tale of home, family, special challenges and rewards, exhaustion, and the limits to which we’ll go for those we love.” – Madge McKeithen, Author & Assistant Professor, Creative Writing, The New School

“One of the most phenomenal and real portrait[s] of my life as a mother of a child living with autism through the eyes of an amazing woman….Her brilliant performance had me crying, laughing, shaking my head and saying ‘I heard that!’ too….A definite must see for all.” – Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr, founder of Nassan’s Place, an organization for families with children with autism in NJ

“It might be sold out now but if you can still get a ticket, man, do it. And if you miss it, keep an eye out for whatever Doreen Oliver does next.” – Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours and The Virgins

“Beautifully and soulfully written, expertly performed, and did for me exactly what brilliant theater is supposed to do, which is reflect the human experience and illuminate aspects of our own lives that we may not have examined in quite the same way before." - TK Baltimore, parent/NYC-based arts philanthropist

Founded in 2015, Vanguard Theater Company, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, produces original, collaborative and re-imagined works of theater that transform actor's and audience's experiences, perceptions and stereotypes. Dedicated to D.R.E.A.M. - diversity, reciprocity, education, awareness and mentorship - Vanguard is committed to imaginative, non-traditional and multi-cultural casting, and professional artistic mentorship. Vanguard Theater Company's year-round programming is made possible through generous support from TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda; The New York Community Trust; Seton Hall University; Investors Bank, and many individual donors. For more information about Vanguard Theater Company, visit