Memorial Opera House Foundation, in partnership with The Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso and The Penguin Project®, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing theatrical opportunities for differently-abled children, have announced a callout for artists and mentors. The first-ever, inclusive theatre production in Indiana, Annie Jr., will premier September 23 and 24, 2023, setting the stage for fun and acceptance for families of children with different abilities.
Directors Lindsey Elderkin and Heather Chaddock invite artists with developmental differences and mentors who will help teach and perform alongside the artists to an Informational Night on Monday, April 24, from 6-7:30 PM at The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Northwest Indiana – Valparaiso Club, located at 708 Evans Ave, Valparaiso, Indiana, 46383.
Elderkin said, “As a mom of twins, with one of my daughters on the Autism Spectrum, I’m so grateful this outlet now exists in our community. Candidly, there have been times where we’ve felt a little socially isolated because of my daughter’s differences, and I’m sure other parents and siblings have felt the same. This production allows developmentally different kids time to be with their peers in an accepting environment while also nurturing social skills and creative talents. Not to mention, our mentors will learn compassion, patience, and the gift of new friendship.”
The Informational Night will provide details to parents about registration, the rehearsal process, and performances. It will also serve as a test-run rehearsal for artists and mentors with music, games, and more.
“We are encouraging artists with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities, or other neurological or developmental disorders to come out and have fun. Learning how to express yourself artistically, and having the chance to do so, is an important part of growing up. We are so excited to offer this experience in an inclusive, accessible environment for local families,” said Chaddock.
All rehearsals and performances will be held at the new Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso. Differently-abled artists should be ages 8-21. Volunteer mentors should be age 18 and under. There is no cost to participate.
For more information about the Penguin Project, visit penguinproject.org. Questions about the Informational Night can be sent to email@example.com.