This Year's Project: New Stage Penguin Project
About Our Organization
NEW STAGE PLAYERS is the only amateur theatrical troupe to call
South Sioux City, Nebraska home.
Join us at the New Stage Players Performing Arts Center at 3201 Dakota Ave,
in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
You can be a part of it! Audition. Volunteer.
Become a sponsor.
Become a part of something special.
Current Project: New Stage Penguin Project
Once a year, a magical and touching celebration of the human spirit unfolds at numerous theaters across the country. 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. These productions are unique, however, because all the roles are filled by young artists 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 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.
Established in 2004, The Penguin Project has evolved into a National program, with Chapter sites throughout the United States. The program provides a supportive environment for children with disabilities to explore their creative talents. It has also demonstrated that participation in the performing arts has therapeutic value by enhancing social interaction, communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. The impact of the program has reached beyond the stage to create a social network for children who previously had very few friends and limited social opportunities.
“Our penguins may not be able to fly, but that does not prevent their spirits from soaring.”
The New Stage Players Penguin Project debuted in Siouxland earlier this year and is already seeing significant interest in participation for its second production.
The New Stage Players Penguin Project will stage “Willy Wonka Jr.” in July 2020.
This year, nearly 25 artists and 30 mentors took part in the inaugural production, “Annie Jr.” We anticipate the 2020 production to be even bigger.
New Stage Players does not charge artists or mentors for being a part of the program. We seek donations from individuals and businesses in the community as a part of our Adopt a Penguin Campaign. A $100 “adoption fee” will cover the costs of the artist or mentor which includes script, t-shirt, snacks for rehearsals, costume and a souvenir penguin. The adopters are invited to participate in an Adoption ceremony that takes place just prior to opening night.
The remainder of the program is funded through community donations and grants.
We encourage community members to donate to the production, as it is unlike any other program for special needs students in the area. Our goal is to raise $5000 for the 2020 project to help alleviate to costs of putting on the production. Royalties, licensing, performance and rehearsal space rental, as well as set, and sound/light equipment.
Performance Space Renovation
New Stage Players has recently acquired a building. We plan to renovate a portion of the building for performance space. It is a large project and we have to do it in phases. $5000 would cover the flooring in this space. Once this project is completed, we will be able to have productions as well as hold auditions and rehearsals in this space rather than renting space at an offsite location. One of our upcoming community projects that we are working on will really benefit from this completed project is the New Stage Players Penguin Project. The Penguin Project takes to the stage to perform a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical. These productions are unique because all the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities. 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.