Imagine you’re back in high school ready to perform a play. You stand on stage behind a drawn curtain knowing that on the other side over 800 people are eagerly anticipating watching you on opening night. You’ve worked for four months memorizing lines and choreography. Your costume – awesome; the props – fantastic, the set – amazing and soon the curtain will part and the show begins.
While that may bring back memories for some of you – imagine now that you have a disability. It could be Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and the list goes on. What are your odds of getting the lead role or even making the cast? Well for 46 individuals with disabilities their dream of performing is a reality. The Penguin Project is a wonderful program that pairs a child/young adult with a disability with similar peer without a disability as their mentor. Over the 4 months time span as both children work together they gain confidence and camaraderie. Then for 3 shows the play is put on by the children with disabilities as the stars of the show. The sets, costumes, props are as good as described. The audience is there to encourage, cheer and applaud the youth. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. When the curtain closes, both parties leave having touched the other for the better.
For tickets to this year’s performance “DISNEY’S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2” (January 14th, 15th and 16th) visit: http://www.penguinproject.org/announcements.html