Founder & Creative Director
Elaine Hall “Coach E!” referenced by The New York Times as “the child whisperer, “ is a pioneer in using inclusive Theater, film, music, and movement to bring out the best in individuals of all abilities. Her work has been lauded in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on the Oprah Winfrey Network, on CNN, CBS and on HBO. Elaine was a top Hollywood acting coach when her life changed dramatically after her son was diagnosed with severe autism. When traditional behavioral therapies didn’t work, she sought information from experts in the field of autism such as Dr. Stanley Greenspan, Dr. Ricki Robinson and Dr. Barry Prizant and then rallied creative people to implement what she learned. Slowly, her son merged out of isolation.
Elaine developed these methods into “The Seven Keys to Unlock and Understand Autism” to train others and created The Miracle Project, a groundbreaking inclusive theatre, film and expressive arts program, profiled in the Emmy winning HBO documentary, AUTISM: The Musical. The Miracle Project, endorsed by autism experts worldwide, brings out the often unheard voices of autism. The program is replicable and being requested internationally. Her students, and her son, once isolated, withdrawn, and too anxious to even walk into a room of peers, have now developed friendships, positive social skills, have jobs, and some have even performed on stages with Jack Black, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, at Carnegie Hall, at The Nokia Theater and recently on the television show Parenthood.
The United Nations selected Elaine Hall’s memoir, Now I See the Moon, for World Autism Awareness Day where she has been a featured speaker several times. She has received honors from Autism Speaks, Autism Society of L.A., The Mayor of Los Angeles, Holly Robinson Peete, The Shalom Institute, Etta Israel and others. Elaine also leads workshops in inclusion for faith-based organizations, and has received several grants from The Jewish Community Foundation for her groundbreaking work in religious programming for individuals with disabilities. She has led trainings in universities and theater programs throughout North America including at Brown University, UCLA, and at NYU. Nominated as one of Los Angeles’ 50 most inspiring women, Elaine lives in Santa Monica with the two loves of her life, her son, Neal and husband Jeff Frymer, a Marriage and Family therapist.
Chief Operating Officer & Program Director, LA
Ryan Berman is a rising star in the autism community, providing a variety of services, skills and resources to families and children impacted by autism. Working closely with families, he provides comprehensive in-home consultations and individualized treatment plans tailored to each familys needs and goals. Ryan is a Master Teacher at The Miracle Project and has trained professionals and volunteers on the Seven Keys to Unlock Autism. Ryan applies his training in DIR/Floortime and Facilitated Communication when working with children and teens with autism. He develops curriculum and serves as an Educational Consultant for a private Los Angeles High School for students who type to communicate. Ryan has a special relationship with Vista Del Mars Inspire Program (V.I.P.) in Los Angeles where he serves as an instructor for the renowned Nes Gadol Bar and Bat Mitzvah Program for children and teens with special needs. Ryan also holds a Masters degree in Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth, Women and Families.
After receiving his BFA in Acting from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2013, Geno returned home to Los Angeles to begin work as an actor. His most recent credits include a lead role in Suicide Live, an original play by award-winning playwright, Rick Creese, which premiered in June at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Despite staying busy on stage, Geno soon realized that he also needed to use his skills to help people. Now, he has discovered the amazing world of Drama Therapy, and is in the process of applying to graduate programs at several West Coast institutions. It was in his pursuit of this new career that led him to The Miracle Project. From day one The Miracle Project has felt like home to Geno with everyday full of new triumphs and challenges. He is so very honored to help his students realize their dreams on stage, and in life; while remembering, most importantly, that we are all miracles! For more information about what Geno is up to visit www.genocreese.com.
As a recent graduate from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) with a BFA in Acting, she is living in Los Angeles as an actor, educator and philanthropist. Her recent acting credits include LoopHoles (The Hudson Theatres), Scrooge, The Musical (The Big Oak Theatre), Pomegranate (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Cloud 9 (festivals in the Czech Republic and Belgium). She has also spent a semester at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently training at The Upright Citizens Brigade. Nora has founded Acting for Others (AFO), a non-profit theater company that raises awareness and funds for charity. This is how she became involved with The Miracle Project in 2013. With tremendous support from The Miracle Project, AFO created a summer internship for MP students to participate and create an original theatrical production called Truer Than Life. Nora is absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with the incredibly talented young artists at The Miracle Project. For more info visit noraking.net
Music Director, CA
A native of Seattle, Zach has music directed and accompanied musicals such as Godspell, Nunsense, and Into the Woods all along the west coast. Pursuing a career in film scoring, Zach relocated to Los Angeles recently and currently teaches piano, writes for film, and works in theater. Visit www.zacharymarsh.com to inquire about lessons and custom music.
Shelley Pack is a comedic actress and producer, she has performed with Groundlings, Second City Alumni, Kristen Wiig, and the cast of Whose Line is it Anyway. Her production company, Infinite Light Productions creates original content for Film, TV, and the web. Shelley has been with the Miracle Project for 7 years and the Help Group for 3, as well as volunteering at Vista Del Mar for 5 years. For more on Shelley go to infinitelightproductions.com
Tom Pilutik is a theater artist who hails from New York City and is delighted to be working with the Miracle Project here in Los Angeles. Tom started his theatrical endeavors as an actor until he discovered the field of drama therapy in 2003. As a drama therapist, Tom worked with children, teens and adults in an inpatient acute care facility for four years. From there, Tom decided one masters degree wasn’t enough and applied for the New York City Teaching Fellows: a highly competitive program that grants free tuition to select candidates who can earn a teaching degree while teaching in a New York City public school. After acceptance into the program, Tom worked as a special education classroom teacher for children with autism as well as the Visual and Performing Arts teacher for elementary and middle school students. Tom’s proudest achievement to date has been directing student with autism in their school production of Aladdin. Ten of these students were able to compete in the National Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia and won the Spirit Award, the highest honor of the festival. Now living in Los Angeles, Tom is teaching theater to middle school students at City Charter School as well the Miracle Project. Tom is truly honored to be included in such a worthwhile program that helps kids and adults express themselves creatively and encourages the artistic process in their students.
Hannah Warren is a dancer by training, an entertainer by accident, and, above all else, an advocate for inclusion of people of all abilities in the arts. Having graduated with honors from UCLA with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Disability Studies, Hannah has chosen to dedicate her life to the celebration of neurodiversity as an advocate for and educator of individuals on the autism spectrum. A certified facilitator of Autism Movement Therapy, Hannah bridges her love for dance with her passion for working with people of mixed abilities in her classes with the Miracle Project and in her curriculum as a Social Skills lead instructor at Step by Step, Edu-Play Programs, Inc. Hannah is also the project coordinator of a research lab at UCLA that studies psychosocial development of individuals with developmental disabilities. Hannah hopes to use her relationship-based understanding of the needs of people who experience the world differently to empower her students to honor their “you-ness” and to recognize the inherent gifts they each have to share with their communities.