Our Mission

SENSE Theatre® – A Stage of Hope for Children, Adolescents and Adults with Autism – is a unique intervention research program designed to improve the social and emotional functioning of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).


SENSE Theatre®

SENSE Theatre®, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded by Blythe Corbett, Ph.D., in January 2009 in Davis, California. Dr. Corbett integrated her background in theatre as a writer and actor with her clinical science research in an effort to blend the disciplines of art and science to create a supportive, enjoyable, community-based treatment program.

The 10-session peer-mediated, theatre-based program includes typically developing peer actors who are trained to work with participants with autism while serving as expert models of social interaction, emotional expression, and imitation. The theatre is home to imagination and communication – thus, it provides a natural environment for enhancing many areas of functioning that are challenging for children with autism.

Autism and Theatre

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by core impairment in social competence (APA, 2013). Engaging in theatrical exercises and acting is an inherently interactive process involving many aspects of social competence, such as observation, perception, interpretation, and expression. Thus, it provides a natural environment for enhancing many areas of functioning that are challenging for individuals on the autism spectrum.


ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic partner of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. We harness the strength of the Country Music community to provide aid in times of need, with a focus on health-related initiatives. With generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives has funded national music therapy programs serving various mental and physical health organizations. Recipients include patients at children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities, recovering veterans, people with Williams syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder and individuals with mental illness. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.  


News and Upcoming Events

Watch: Blending Art and Science: A Stage of Hope for Autism | Blythe Corbett | TEDxVanderbiltUniversity

Watch Dr. Blythe Corbett share her “idea worth spreading” for the 2023 TEDxVanderbilt University event. The recording of her talk is available at the link below, where you can watch Dr. Corbett talk about the SENSE Theatre program and the transformative power of theatre in our lives through her talk, “Blending Art and Science: A …

TEDx Presentation with speaker Blythe Corbett, Ph.D. April 18th

We are excited to share that Vanderbilt Human Resources Employee Learning and Engagement team will host the 7th Annual TEDxVanderbiltUniversity event on April 18, 2023. Blythe Corbett, Ph.D., Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Psychology will be one of the six speakers from the Vanderbilt Community to step into the red …

SENSE Theatre Research Featured in NIMH Director’s Message!

The SENSE Lab’s NIMH-funded, R01 multisite SENSE Theatre research study was recently featured in Dr. Joshua Gordon’s NIMH Director’s Message, “Research Along the Autism Spectrum: Diverse Research to Meet Diverse Needs.” The multisite intervention study, led by Dr. Blythe Corbett, and including additional sites at University of Alabama and Stony Brook University, aims to support …

Contact Us

To learn more about SENSE Theatre nonprofit: send us a message at info@sensetheatre.com

To learn more about SENSE Theatre intervention research program: send us a message at senselab@vumc.org or Call (615) 513-9562

To learn more about our ongoing SENSE translational research and opportunities to participate, visit senselab.vkcsites.org

Where to Find Us…

1500 21st Avenue South
Suite 2200
Nashville, TN 37212



Donations to our mission are sincerely appreciated. Click the donate button to make a donation to our cause.