When you have a kid who has special needs, sometimes opportunities to participate alongside their typically developing peers are few and far between.

The Penguin Project

With that in mind, I was pretty excited to see this Penguin Project Theatre experience travel west into the Quad Cities from it's home for the last 14 years in Peoria.

I went to an introductory meeting where they are planning to produce Annie Jr. completely cast with kids and young adults of different abilities.

The idea is simple, and awesome in it's simplicity. Special actors in the spotlight, helped by mentors who are also onstage, but only to assist. The actors and their mentors work together rehearsing over a considerable amount of time, building a relationship, as well as a great show.

So the concept is good, and I have high hopes for the resulting experience for Katie and the rest of the cast. If you know someone who would benefit from an experience like this, either as an actor or mentor, contact the Center for Living Arts in Rock Island, where the rehearsals will be, or attend the next meeting Wednesday Nov. 2nd.