Neurodivergent Theatre & “Light Switch”


In this course you will learn how to better work with and be more inclusive of neurodivergent artists in your practice, and how being more mindful of neurodivergence can improve your practice as an artist.

Award-winning and published playwright Dave Osmundsen presents a multi-disciplinary look into his work, the state of neurodivergent representation of theatre, and the future of the field as a whole.

You will learn from the playwright about the development of “Light Switch,” and how it changed from first draft to final draft. After watching a virtual reading of the play and reading the final draft of the script, you will hear from various artists who have been involved in the play’s development process.

These artists offer their own unique perspectives on the play’s development, from directing to acting to dramaturgy.

You will also hear and learn from a neurodivergent artistic director who is paving the way for neurodivergent artists to create their own work.


What Will I Learn?

  • The importance of neurodivergent theatre
  • Neurodivergent Representation
  • Working with neurodivergent performers
  • Dramaturging a neurodivergent play
  • New Play Development

Topics for this course

9 Lessons7h

Introduction To The Course

Introduction to the Course00:06:05

Light Switch – Digital Reading?

Spectrum Theatre Ensemble's digital reading of "Light Switch" from August 2020.

Light Switch – Full Play?

The full script of "Light Switch."

Light Switch – Playwriting and Neurodiversity?

Playwright Dave Osmundsen discusses the process of writing "Light Switch" and explores a few issues of neurodivergent representation in theatre and film.

Light Switch – Acting?

A conversation with Daniel Perkins, who played Henry in the Spectrum Theatre Ensemble reading of "Light Switch."

Light Switch – Directing?

A conversation with Kristina Friedgen, who directed the Arizona State University production of "Light Switch."

Light Switch – Dramaturgy?

A conversation with Mario Gomez, who worked as a dramaturg on the Spectrum Theatre Ensemble reading of "Light Switch."

Light Switch – Neurodivergent Theatre?

A conversation with Clay Martin, artistic director of Spectrum Theatre Ensemble and director of STE's digital reading of "Light Switch."

Light Switch – Final Thoughts?

You've heard from a variety of artists about their approach to working on "Light Switch" and their thoughts on neurodivergent theatre. Now, we want to hear from you! Take this opportunity to reflect on what you learned about neurodivergent theatre.


About the instructors

Dave Osmundsen is a queer and autistic playwright and dramaturg whose work has been seen and developed at the Kennedy Center, KCACTF Region 8, B Street Theatre, the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Midwest Dramatists Conference, Phoenix Theatre Company, and others. He was named one of two recipients of the inaugural Future of Playwriting Prize from the Blank Theatre and Ucross. His play LIGHT SWITCH was a 2021 BAPF Finalist, a 2020 NPF semi-finalist, a Carlo Annoni Playwriting Prize finalist, and was longlisted for the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award. His one-act, A FIREWORK UNEXPLODED, was published in the inaugural issue of The Dionysian and was a semi-finalist for the NYC Audio Theatre Writing Contest. His TYA play THE DUMMY CLASS was a Finalist for the Purple Crayon Players' PLAYground of Fresh New Works. His play STUPID, FAT, UGLY was a semi-finalist for the 2017 National Playwrights Conference. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University.
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Material Includes

  • Videos
  • Full play script "Light Switch"
  • Recording of the Reading
  • Autism Terms Glossary
  • Open-Ended Quizzes
  • Course Certificate


  • An interest in neurodivergent theatre
  • An interest in the future of theatre
  • An interest in new play development

Target Audience

  • All Theatre Makers
  • Playwrights
  • Directors
  • Dramaturgs
  • Artistic Directors
  • Administrators
  • Theatre Companies
  • Theatre Students