Brio Integrated Theatre logoSahar Ahmed Awerbuch started the non-profit Brio Integrated Theatre in 2008. Brio is committed to the belief that all individuals have the ability to create, and that there are diverse perspectives and waysto express creativity. Brio teaches awareness of disabilities and the potential that is imaginable through integrative workshops,productions, community classes, educational programs and community outreach. Brio’s outreach is not only local but national and international as well.

Interview with Sahar Ahmed Awerbuch

Tell me a little about yourself and how you started Brio.

I grew up in Winchester. Although I was born in Egypt, I really never spent my childhood there. However, as an adult I worked there for 15 years and then came back here which is home, really. I’ve always worked in Special Education in general and the arts. The arts came a little bit later, as it was really education and psychology that I studied. I started working with a group in Egypt that was from London called Amici Dance Theatre, an integrated dance company. That experience is what really got me started incorporating the arts into work with people with disabilities. Later, this made me want to study expressive arts therapy, and I’m currently doing a research project for a Ph.D. I saw firsthand while I was working with Amici what kind of change you can really create by incorporating arts for people of all ages and abilities. When I came back home, I said, “Oh, I’d really like to start something like Amici and I want to use their model, but I really don’t know if I want to just do dance.” I thought about it, and I said no, we’re going to make it the arts. Although we’re called Brio Integrated Theatre, we incorporate all art forms. It’s basically how you use the arts to include people and to include people of all ages and abilities as just another way of communicating with one another.

When you started building Brio Integrated Theatre, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
What have been some of the biggest highlights so far?
What do you think has been Brio’s biggest contribution to Winchester?
What do you want the legacy of Brio to be for Winchester?
Do you think being a woman has impacted how people view you as a businessperson/or head of an organization?
Who is one woman who has inspired you?
Any advice to other female entrepreneurs?