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Marcus is part of a program teaching playwriting

2018-02-25T06:50:56-06:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs, In the News|

Former North drama teacher Jennifer Castello-Scott, now a freelance drama educator, devised the curriculum. She enlisted the help of author and speaker Marcus Sikora, who has Down syndrome.

Marcus was involved in this cool program to teach the kids. Here’s a lovely article in the Omaha World Herald about the program:

Circle Theatre works with schools on playwriting project for special education students  

Read on!

 

 

Writing Down Marcus’ Dreams

2015-02-09T22:17:18-06:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , , |

Marcus: Guess What? Me: What? Marcus: High-Def 3D Helmut. I repeat: High-Def 3D Helmut. Marcus: Is the army villain. Me: Ooh, that is a good army villain. Marcus: Write it down.

Write it Down

theatre thursdaySo here I am. I have written it down. This conversation took place just now as I walked up the stairs to my desk. I’m telling you, that mind never stops creating. Ever.

A good thing too, because recently Marcus was asked to write a short one-act for

Some of the Marcus Equation

2019-11-24T07:18:24-06:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , , |

When you have a child with an intellectual disability the tests come early and often. Medical tests, intervention tests, IQ tests.

IQ tests are the worst.  On the parents.  I’ll never forget Marcus’ first IQ test, he was three. He communicated mostly with action/expression and sign language. But not that day, well I take it back. He was clearly communicating, just not compliant. An important differentiation that, as his mother, I could see but the Ph.D. in the room clearly could not, Or did not.

One moment that stood out, the psychiatrist held before Marcus a doll with its head off, laying

Marcus the Musical and the Dreamer

2019-03-10T12:55:36-05:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , |

One of the things I love about my son is his ambition. His dream of creating and starring in his own Broadway Musical is never daunted. Last time we went to the theatre to see a Broadway Across America production he stood in front of an empty poster frame and gave me the thumbs up. “This,” he told me, “Is for Marcus the Musical.” He believes in himself and this dream.

The fact that he can’t read a script doesn’t concern him, he's preparing his own. The burdens of official training in the areas of playwriting, acting, stagecraft, and so on…not an issue.

I would never, ever, tell him he won’t, or worse can’t, reach this dream. His passion is clear and he spends both waking and sleeping moments working toward this.

Another 23 year old without training and facing the uphill, dare I say impossible, mountain of learning and struggle, would likely give up. In fact, most young people are talked out of their dreams and move on because they “know better.”

What Marcus Taught Me in Iceland

2020-02-08T10:45:13-06:00Categories: Featured on Grown Ups, Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , , , |

The Most Important Lesson from our Trip Happened in Iceland.

Can you imagine what it’s like to have your own child’s value, as a human being, debated? A world where you regularly encounter the opinion of scientists and doctors who are literally working to eliminate the entire segment of humanity of which your child is a part…and it all happens without public outrage. In fact, it is happening throughout entire cultures.

I frequently listen to the band Of Monsters and Men when I am writing. I love their lyric videos and their melodies drive emotion. Of Monsters and Men happen

Marcus & the Loud Mouths Festival

2017-07-18T16:05:15-05:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , , , |

 

 Marcus enjoys both watching theatre and participating.

It all began as a small child, when he would act out entire TV shows, movies, and ideas in a combination of pantomime and song. Now, as a young adult he pursues more public shows.

The Ollie Webb Center in Omaha has a program called The Art of Imagination. This is the third year of the “Loud Mouths” production put on by Jim Hoggatt.

*Ok – New Note* This post originally went live May 22 of 2014. I’m re-posting it today as #TBT because it’s a memory

The Video Of Marcus Speaking at the United Nations

2019-06-16T10:01:10-05:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs, In the News|Tags: , , , |


For real.

If you want #BlackDayBook and Grown Ups and Downs updates, not too often – I promise, Join the Club here!

Here’s what we said:

Listening to Self-Advocates: Relate, Respond, and Amplify

(Marcus parts in bold)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m Marcus Wright Sikora.

I wrote a book called Black Day: The Monster Rock Band.

I’m a storyteller, an actor, and a singer.

I’m glad to be here with people from around the world  

talking about Down Syndrome.

New York City is my favorite.

This is my mom, Mardra. She’s a writer, too.

Marcus and Moving Mountains

2017-03-05T12:01:35-06:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , , , , , , , |

PJs and SchoolThis last Tuesday Marcus and I travelled to Bennington, NE. We shared the animated short and book Black Day: The Monster Rock Band with the students. The kids were all in their pajamas as it was “pajama day.” And also Dr. Seuss week. So the PTO invited a local author in to tell his story. 

Big Kids Classes

Also, with the “big kids” Marcus and I talked about what makes a good story, the importance of set,

Where Marcus talks about Me

2019-07-26T19:33:38-05:00Categories: Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , |

 

2016-MarcusMom Hug-053Marcus isn’t always great at direct question and answer. Prepositions and pronouns are sometimes hard for him to grasp and answer. Directions like up/down/under…are very hard for him. However, he’s very good at grasping abstract thought, he has communicated/shown me this for years in ways broader and bigger than just words.

This is part of why I decided to share this fun experiment here – because you can really see his capacity for perception in ways bigger and broader than just

Why does Marcus have First Billing on the Book Black Day: The Monster Rock Band?

2016-03-10T22:46:13-06:00Categories: Black Day, Grown Ups & Downs|Tags: , |

black day titlep

Today let’s discuss why Marcus Sikora, a young man with Down syndrome, has first credit for the book and why this is even a question.

Writing about Creating.

I’ve written many words trying to share with you how the writing process with Marcus works. Most of those words still lay jumbled on a page not yet shared; they don’t touch the impact of the process. Some

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