Empowering children with special needs through theatre.
What is The Penguin Project?
The Penguin Project was created by Dr. Andrew Morgan and provides children with special needs an opportunity to develop creative skills, partner and network with others, and participate in a fully realized musical production.
The Artists, who are children with special needs, take the stage to perform a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical. Rather than auditions, a screening process based on interest, general abilities, and communication skills is used to select the cast. All Artists sing, dance, and act in the show. The Artists get on-stage assistance from their Mentor, a peer without special needs.
Who can participate?
Artists are children and young adults ages 8 to 20 with special needs, including (but not limited to) cognitive, learning, motor, visual, and hearing impairments, genetic disorders, and neurological disorders.
Mentors are children and young adults ages 8 to 20 who do not have special needs. They will be matched as closely as possible with an Artist of similar age and interests, and the two will work side-by-side through the entire rehearsal and performance process. Mentors are responsible for knowing all lines, songs, and blocking of their partners. Mentors are on stage during the production, costumed to match or complement their partners.
What is the cost?
The program is made possible through the support of our community partners and is free for all participants.
What is the rehearsal schedule?
Rehearsals will vary for each Artist and Mentor, but typically will be 75 minutes, two days a week, and gradually increase to four days as the performance date approaches. Participation is not contingent upon conflicts during the rehearsal process. Availability will be considered when creating the full, detailed rehearsal schedule.