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Special needs youth theatre!

(4/10) Gettysburg Community Theatre (GCT) the not-for-profit 501c3 community theatre, will once again change lives through the joy of musical theatre during their 3rd annual Penguin Project production Seussical the musical, which is scheduled to perform at Gettysburg Area High School Auditorium on May 13th at 7pm and May 14th at 2pm.

The Penguin Project gets its name from Founder Dr. Andrew Morgan, a pediatrician specializing in children with disabilities. Dr. Morgan, who has a background in theatre says, "Penguins are special needs birds, they can not fly, but they thrive equally as well as any other bird in their own environment. Our penguins may not fly, but they soar on stage."

Partnering with Gettysburg Area School District in 2014, Gettysburg Community Theatre produced the Eastern States Regional Premiere of The Penguin Project (production for youth with disabilities/special needs and their peer mentors) with their production of Disney’s Peter Pan starring 20 artists with special needs and 30 peer mentors performing to 800 people in the audience. Then in 2015, GCT partnered with Hanover Public Schools to present Disney’s High School Musical with even more youth with special needs and a full house at Hanover High School Auditorium. This year GCT is excited to return to GAHS partnering again with GASD for the Penguin Project of GCT production of Seussical the musical based on the beloved stories of Dr. Seuss with characters like the Cat In The Hat, Horton, Gertrude McFuzz and many many more from the Jungle Of Nool!

"We’re changing lives!" says Chad-Alan Carr, GCT’s Founding Executive/Artistic Director, "My favorite part is to see the compassionate bond that develops between the artists with special needs starring in the show and their peer mentors without special needs helping them along during what we call ‘the process’. There is simply nothing quite like Penguin Project. The project has already been replicated in six states so far and counting. GCT was the first replication sit outside the state of Illinois to perform a Penguin Project production."

Having started 12 years ago in Peoria, Illinois, The Penguin Project is about a "Process" (general atmosphere, cast and family interactions, rehearsals, etc.) and a "Product" (the on-stage performances). The Process is the creation of a special environment, a "comfort zone", where children with special needs/disabilities are given opportunity and support to explore their creativity and develop communication skills, socialization, and self-confidence; where children without special needs/disabilities have an opportunity to help others by being a peer mentor and a friend; and where families have the opportunity to watch their children succeed in ways they never thought possible. It's all about developing relationships and creating a very special "family' that extends well beyond the stage.

GCT also welcomes adults that would like to volunteer in any way for this worthy cause. The Penguin Project is also an excellent project for National Honor Society and Key Club Members, for community service, and for Senior Graduation projects. More information can be seen at

Gettysburg Community Theatre located at 49 York Street within the first block of historic downtown Gettysburg. Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling 717-334-2692.

GCT’s mission Statement is to inspire creativity and confidence, provide cultural enrichment, and instill a love of the theatre arts in young and the young at heart through quality education, training and performing experiences in musical theatre.

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