The Penguin Project | Event Photographer | Dekalb Illinois

There is a magic in teen theater that somehow supersedes regular theater. Maybe it’s just me, but I have found such innocence and fun in the teen theater shows I’ve gotten to see over the years. My daughter has participated in a theater program for two years, but this one is extra meaningful. The Penguin Project was started in order to enable children with special needs to participate alongside their peers in theater productions. As their website states, “The origin of the name “Penguin Project” comes from the unique characteristics of penguins. They are extremely playful and curious, and work well together. More importantly, they have a “disability” that distinguishes them from other birds – they can’t fly!! Instead, penguins waddle and toboggan on their bellies over the snow, and are excellent swimmers in the water. So like our young artists, they have adapted to the challenges of their environment, and have not allowed their unique difference to interfere with their lives!”

The program pairs each uniquely-gifted special needs student (artist) with a typically-gifted peer (mentor). They all learn their lines together, so that when they perform, the mentor can help with forgotten lines or movements. No matter the range of disability (wheelchair-bound, autism, down syndrome or cerebral palsy are just some of the unique challenges each artist faces), they all have such amazing talents. It’s amazing to see, and is touching to every member of the audience. This year, they chose to do Shrek the Musical as their play, and their theme song, “I’m A Believer” is performed at the end of each show. This year’s show ran from September 8-11 at Dekalb High School. Our program/chapter of the Penguin Project is through Children’s Community Theater {CCT} in Dekalb, IL

Special thanks to Joe & Barb King who put so much of their time and talent to producing this show each year for the community. I hope this video and these images help convey what a truly wonderful experience this show is!

Bringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, IllinoisBringing teens and high school seniors together in Dekalb, Illinois

 

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