Molly Mattaini is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a Specialization in Theatre for Youth and a doctoral minor in Special Education. She studies Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre, a genre within TYA which creates theatrical experiences for young people who are neurodiverse, particularly children on the autism spectrum. Her research focuses on how Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre creates an artistic version of autistic space.
She is also a working teaching artist who is passionate about creating ability-inclusive drama education spaces.
Molly received her MA in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 and her BA from Loyola University Chicago in Theatre, Summa Cum Laude in 2014. Since leaving undergrad, she has thrown herself into teaching drama to children of all ages and abilities, and studying professional productions created for very young children (ages 0-6) and neurodiverse audiences. While an undergraduate, she split her time between directing, stage managing, and working as a management assistant to the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. She is a lover of regional theater and has worked with companies such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Children's Theatre of Madison, Children's Theatre Company, Chicago Children's Theatre, Light Opera Works, Park Square Theater, and Steppingstone Theatre for Youth Development in the past.
In her free time, Molly enjoys walking her dog Sam, reading mystery novels, and singing along to musicals in the car.