The Penguin Project of McLean County

Once a year, a magical and touching celebration of the human spirit unfolds at U-High's Stroud Auditorium in Normal, Illinois. A group of young people in a program called The Penguin Project® McLean County take to the stage to perform a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical.
This production is unique, however, because all of the roles are filled by children and young adults with developmental disabilities including Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other disorders. They are joined on stage by their “peer mentors,” a group of young people the same age without disabilities, who have volunteered to work with them side-by-side and guide them through 4 months of rehearsals and to the final production.
By creating unrestricted access to the performing arts, The Penguin Project® McLean County demonstrates that the special challenges of a disability need not handicap a child’s ability to participate in life’s many experiences.
Watch our Facebook page or click over to the 2020 Season Tab
for 2020 season announcements!
  • Facebook Social Icon

"Our penguins may not be able to fly, but that does not prevent their spirits from soaring."


Our program is partially funded by grants from Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, 

Kiwanis Club of Normal & Town of Normal Harmon Arts Fund.