Young Artists With Disabilities
The Penguin Project is open to any individual age 10 to 24 with a disability. This includes children with cognitive, learning, motor, hearing, and visual impairments, genetic disorders, and neurological disorders. There are no restrictions based on the level of cognitive ability, restriction of mobility, or lack of communication skills. Because of concerns for safety, however, we are unable to accept anyone with a severe behavioral disturbance that might endanger himself/herself or others.
The Penguin Project utilizes a “peer mentor” system, linking each young artist with an age level peer, between 12 and 24, who typically does not have a disability. The peer-mentors work side-by-side with their partners, assisting them throughout the entire rehearsal process and on stage. The mentors are responsible for knowing all of the lines, songs, and blocking of their partners. They are on-stage during the production, costumed to match or compliment their partners. They participate in the group production numbers, but are trained to remain “in the background” and provide direct assistance only as needed.