Henry van Loon new ambassador of InterActing

Comedian/actor joins non-profit theater school for young people with autism

Amsterdam, December 11, 2023 – Comedian/actor Henry van Loon will be ambassador for InterActing, the theater school for young people with autism. This non-profit supports young people on the spectrum through improvisational theater to break from their rituals and routines. On 17 December, Henry will come to the final performance of the current students to kick off his ambassadorship.

Improvisation helps neurodivergent adolescents to cope better with the challenges of daily life. InterActing is also a great place for them to make friends. In the Netherlands, there are about 50,000 children and young people with autism. As of 2024, InterActing has a show team with up-and-coming talent in addition to its regular groups (aged 12 to 22). Henry van Loon will be a guest coach for the InterActing show team. The participants of the InterActing Show Team have been following classes for several years. Now they are ready for a new challenge. They will graduate on 17 December with a exciting show from 12.30 to 13:30 and then continue in the new year with their own acting coach. They will perform once every two months at the Academy Jam, on World Autism Day (2 April) and the Boom Chicago Comedy Festival, among others. 

Henry van Loon: ‘My mother worked with children with challenges; they also regularly came to our home. When she fell ill a few years ago and eventually passed away, I promised her I would continue her work somehow. I just didn’t know how, until I heard about InterActing. I immediately felt a connection. Meanwhile, I have already joined once and I was very impressed by the improvisational skills of the participants. Very fun and inspiring to see.’

Co-founder Saskia Maas: ‘Last summer at the Boom Chicago Comedy Festival, I talked about Interacting on stage. Afterwards Henry and I talked about InterActing and how he wanted to contribute. We are extremely happy that he is now involved in InterActing. Our goal is to reach as many young people with autism as possible, so that they join the fun, boost their self-confidence and make friendships with peers. My ambition is to grow InterActing into a national organisation with InterActing theater programs in all major cities in the Netherlands. After Amsterdam and The Hague, Eindhoven will certainly follow next year.’

About Stichting InterActing

InterActing was founded in 2018 by Saskia Maas (co-founder and CEO of comedy institute Boom Chicago) and Pim Donkersloot, educator and family therapist. Maas has two children, including a son with autism, and Donkersloot is the father of two autistic children. They use improvisational theater to help autistic youngsters develop social-emotional skills, increase their self-confidence and adapt to changing situations so they can better hold their own in the world.

Also read the article on RTL.nl


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