“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
I think man has always had an inner desire to fly – to catch the wind under our wings and soar to places unknown. Tonight, the Penguin Project for special needs children will have a chance to do just that. For months now, they’ve been working hard, alongside their mentors, to produce their rendition of “Annie, Jr.” The show contains the songs from the Broadway musical. They’ve practiced choreography to go along with the music. They’ve memorized lines. They’ve learned how to apply makeup. They’ve struggled through the difficulties of tech week – with something new being added each day – like lights, sound, microphones and costume changes. Putting the whole thing together will be realized tonight as they appear before an audience. For those who have gone through tech week, we know how frustrating and difficult that can be. We also know the magic that occurs when you’re face to face with an audience.
All of these kids have been more than amazing during this process. The mentors have given up their summer activities to share their time and talent with those who have never been on stage before. The Penguins are stretching heights they never thought possible to reach. This totally new experience has been great for both mentor and Penguin as they’ve grown together as friends and bonded as co-workers.
Putting on a play requires more than a garage, a few sheets and a lemonade stand. “Let’s put on a show,” is one of those things kids do when they’re growing up. It’s one of the purest forms of expression. It gives the actor a chance to shine, show what they’ve learned, build their self confidence and step outside their boxes. They’re called Penguins for a reason. Penguins, like all of us, can’t fly, but when they’re shown how, they can certainly reach heights unknown.
Good luck and God’s blessings on these kids as they set foot on the stage tonight. It’s been a wonderful journey watching them succeed.