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New Tampa Players Seek Special Needs Performers, Director, Coordinator for the Penguin Project

New Tampa Players & The Penguin Project

Empowering Children with Special Needs Through Theatre

What is the Penguin Project?

Established in 2004, Penguin Project gives children with special needs the opportunity to be on stage. All roles in a Penguin Project production are filled with artists with special needs, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. They are joined on stage by a dedicated group of “peer mentors” – children the same age without disabilities who have volunteered to work side-by-side with them through 4 months of rehearsals and through the final performance. By providing access to community theater, The Penguin Project demonstrates that the special challenges of a disability should not handicap a child’s ability to participate in life’s experiences.

What is the production schedule like?

The production starts with an informational meeting in December, where the artists, the peer mentors, the parents, and the production team meet and learn about the program. During the next four months, there are usually 3-4 rehearsals a week that are no longer than 90 minutes. During each rehearsal, each artist has a peer mentor who learns right alongside with him/her. The peer mentors learn all of blocking, lines, and choreography and work with their artist. Some rehearsals are for the ensemble, some are for the leads, but all are fun!

As the production dates near, rehearsals will move to include all artists and peer mentors. Three  exciting performances are planned for the weekend of April 4, 5 and 6th of 2019.

More specifically, the New Tampa Players are seeking: 

Peer Mentors: If you are between the ages of 8 and 21 and have some theatre on stage experience, we would love to have you involved with the Penguin Project! We will be happy to complete paperwork for community service/volunteer hours for school or church.

Production Team: We are looking for a director, musical director, and choreographer for this special project! The Penguin Project will provide us with guidance and support through out the production process, but we need the experience, talent, and heart of a director, musical director, and choreographer who are interested in this special project. If you know someone, please send this information to them! They can contact us at

Community Members: As this production gets underway, we will need a peer mentor coordinator and technical production team (sets, lights, sound, painters, costumers). We will also need snacks! If you are interested in being on the production team for the Penguin Project, please contact us through messenger or email Nora Paine at

Sponsors: Those wanting to sponsor/donate to this special experience, should contact Nora Paine at


This post expires on Tuesday October 9, 2018.