Mitch and his mother, Carrie Thatcher.
CYT inspires Karen Kingsbury, again.
Yesterday, the Columbian shared Mitch Thatcher’s story that helped shape Karen Kingsbury’s next novel, “Unlocked.” Mitch Thatcher is involved with CYT VanPort, and happens to have autism. According to the article, seeing Mitch “thrive in CYT” ignited the story idea in Kingsbury’s mind,
“When I saw Mitch up on stage, I literally sat in the audience and had tears streaming down my face,” Kingsbury said. “I felt like the transformation was a miracle. He was up there singing and dancing, and he came up and said hi to me. He didn’t approach people like that before.”
Kingsbury’s son, Tyler Russell, is credited with helping Mitch break out of his shell. After a friendly “good night” from Tyler, Mitch was inspired to step on stage. Since then, Mitch has performed in CYT productions like “Peter Pan,” “Scrooge,” and “Into the Woods.” He landed his first lead role in CYT’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” playing the Rabbi. Tyler told the Columbian,
“I just knew that if I was in his position of being shy and younger and new to CYT, I would have wanted one of the older kids to come talk to me, as well….It just taught me to never walk past someone or brush someone aside, but treat people the way I would want them to treat me and just take every opportunity to reach out.”
Read the complete article, here.
“Unlocked” comes out Tuesday. Kingsbury is streaming a webcast that day from 5 to 6 p.m. that explores topics such as autism, a developmental disability. The webcast can be found online at http://www.karenkingsbury.com/live. Kingsbury and her daughter, Kelsey Russell, co-host the webcast, which filmed Friday in Portland before a live audience. It features Mitch and Carrie, as well as the Williamses, another local family touched by autism. The program also includes insights from autism experts.