The Park Lawn Players are comprised of 36 individuals with mild forms of developmental disabilities. All of the Players were eager to begin their first performance in 2004 and the anticipation for the event has grown since then.
Each participant is provided a CD with all of the songs to perform and memorize the words. Sometimes the performers lip sync, but the majority of the time, they can be heard over the original singer.
Jill Grider, the choreographer of the performances and facilities service aid at Park Lawn, said that their goal with each performance is to make it a show with a broad range of songs that every generation can enjoy. This year they will perform to songs popular in the 1920’s all the way to the present day hits.
Debbie Lechuga, one of the founders of the Park Lawn Players and social work professional at Park Lawn, participated in theater at Moraine Valley Community College. After volunteering for Park Lawn, she knew that her friends at Park Lawn would love to be on stage to perform. Within the eight years of this performance, the Park Lawn Players always play to a packed auditorium at Moraine Valley Theater.
“This is an extracurricular activity to enhance their creativity,”
This year the Park Lawn Players had special helpers during practice from Mount Greenwood National Junior Honor Society student volunteers. This was the second time that Mt. Greenwood NJHS students volunteered with Park Lawn. During this experience, they assisted with creating projects that enhance the theatrical skills that Park Lawn Players have by creating games that expanded their theatrical talent. Some of the games were charades, mirroring actions and dance freeze.
“It was a great experience for everyone involved,” said Park Lawn Volunteer Manager Kristen Bonk.
Everyone is invited to this inspiring event on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at Dorothy Menker Theatre, located at the Moraine Valley Community College Campus. Tickets are $9 each and can be purchased by calling 708-425-7377 and asking for Kathie Kelly. They can also be purchased at the Moraine Valley Community College Theater website (http://sa1.seatadvisor.com/
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Park Lawn is a non-profit organization with a mission is to provide services that promote independence, choice and access to community living for people with developmental disabilities.