We are so excited to announce the Cast of Wizard of OZ (YPE) and their Mentor pairings. All the Artists are very excited to begin rehearsing their roles with the help of their mentors. Please come see our show June 21 & 22, 2019, at 7:00 PM and June 23, 2019, at 2:00 PM at the Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available and can be purchased by clicking the link below.
The Penguin Project of SPCT is made possible in part through grants from American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation and The Sun Prairie Education Foundation.
Article for the Sun Prairie Star - November 17, 2017 The Penguin Project has been honored with the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation’s highest honor for such programs. The Penguin Project was recognized for its effectiveness in promoting learning and life skills in young people by engaging them through creative programs. The Penguin Project gives children, teens and young adults with special needs an opportunity to star in a community theatre production. The young artists have a wide spectrum of special needs including Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and ADHD. Participation in the program enhances social skills, communication skills and self-esteem. Started in Peoria, Illinois in 2004, The Penguin Project has become a national program with 26 replication sites in 15 states throughout the country, including Sun Prairie. Since its founding, hundreds of children have participated in and benefitted from a wide range of productions. “We have been a part of The Penguin Project since 2015 and have seen what it means for our artists and their families,” said Sara Beth Hahner, director of The Penguin Project of Sun Prairie Civic Theatre. “We are excited to be part of this national recognition.” The awardees — chosen from a pool of 350 nominations and 50 finalists — were recognized for improving academic achievement, literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness. Using “Junior” versions of Broadway musicals that are professionally modified for young performers, The Penguin Project artists are matched with Peer Mentors who guide and assist them through rehearsals and join them on stage for the production. “The Penguin Project was founded on the principle that children with special needs can participate in and excel at community activities when given the opportunity and support. We have seen young people who had no friends, would hide when they met people, and feared interaction with others blossom into engaged and confident individuals who proudly show their talents,” said Andrew Morgan, M.D., founder of The Penguin Project. “To see this program grow as it has and benefit young artists with special needs and their families across the country is immensely gratifying. We’re incredibly proud of this award and of the young people, volunteers, supporters, board and staff across the country who made it possible.” First presented in 1998, the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards were presented through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in cooperation with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). In addition to the national recognition, The Penguin Project will receive $10,000 to support its programming and engage more young people from the community. For more information about The Penguin Project, including video for this story, visit http://penguinproject.org.
Sun Prairie Civic Theatre is a community of volunteers sharing their time and talent to educate people of all ages in the experience of live theater on stage, backstage, and in the audience