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The Penguins take the stage in 'Footloose' the musical - youth edition

Dr. Andrew Morgan, founder of The Penguin Project
Jody Holtz
Dr. Andrew Morgan, founder of The Penguin Project

On this week's episode of Out and About, WCBU's Jody Holtz sits in for Jenn Gordon to talk with Dr. Andrew Morgan, founder of The Penguin Project, about their upcoming production of 'Footloose' the musical - youth edition.

Once a year, a magical and touching celebration of the human spirit unfolds at Eastlight Theatre in East Peoria, Illinois. A group of children in a program called The Penguin Project® 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 with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. They are joined on stage by their “peer mentors”, a group of children the same age without disabilities, who have volunteered to work with them side-by-side and guide them through 4 months of rehearsals and the final production.

Performances will take place at Eastlight Theatre on January 13th and 14th at 7:30pm and January 15th at 2:00pm. For tickets and more information, visit Eastlight Theatre's website.

Jody Holtz is WCBU's assistant development director, assistant program director, host of WCBU's newsmagazine All Things Peoria and producer of WCBU’s arts and culture podcast Out and About.