Students with Autism Take Stage, Directors Chair in Latest Performance

The BurkTech Players is a collaboration between students with autism and students from the School of Theatre & Dance.

WHAT: The BurkTech Players’ East Coast Stories will perform two one-act plays directed by Reese Thompson and Sam Shreffler and three original short places written by Sharai Bohannon, Tom Laney and Texas Tech University alumnus Jaston Williams. There also will be an original dance piece conceived by the BurkTech Players.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. Reservations are recommended; people with reserved seats should arrive at least 15 minutes early to ensure seating. People can make reservations here.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday (April 18)

WHERE: Lab theatre of the Maedgen Theatre Building, 3032 18th Street (The lab theatre is on the west side of the building.)

WHO: The BurkTech Players, composed of graduates from the Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research and students from the School of Theatre & Dance, was created in 2014 after a community theatre class brought the groups together. At its helm are Clay Martin, a graduate student in fine arts who wanted to work with students with autism, and Shreffler, a Burkhart graduate who performed a freeform routine on a national stage when he auditioned for “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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CONTACT: Clay Martin, graduate student, College of Visual & Performing Arts,; Wes Dotson, co-director, Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research, (806) 834-0783 or; Mark Charney, director, School of Theatre & Dance, (806) 834-1683 or

The Burkhart Center

The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research

The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research is part of the College of Education and is the premier center in Lubbock for research, education and assistance for families affected by autism.

Research at the center covers three major aspects: developing strategies for the preparation of teachers to meet the needs of students, examining ways to develop parent support networks and preparing individuals with autism as they transition from school to adult services.

The Transition Academy, the center’s flagship program, is home to about 15 teenagers and young adults who have an autism spectrum disorder. They come to campus Monday through Friday to learn job and life skills, including how to live independently, and many have jobs through partnerships with campus and community organization.

The Burkhart Center is named for Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart in honor of their grandson Collin.

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