The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company (CUTC) will present their Penguin Project production of Disney’s Frozen, Jr. at the Urbana High School (UHS) Cobb Auditorium on September 20 and 21 at 7 pm and September 22 at 2 pm.

This new version of the musical is based on the 2013 Disney film and the 2018 Broadway adaptation. CUTC’s Penguin Project cast stars 32 special needs artists assisted by over 32 peer mentors. The show is directed by Jaclyn Loewenstein with musical direction by Debra Myers and choreography by Courtney Davies. 

Among those from Monticello taking part are Daniel St. John, Conlan Broyles, Summer Schauber and Leland Schauber. Also, Madi Tabor is serving as a mentor. 

The Penguin Project gives children, teens, and young adults with special needs an opportunity to star in a community theatre production. The young artists have a wide spectrum of special needs including Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and ADHD. Participation in the program enhances social skills, communication skills, and self-esteem. The Penguin Project artists are matched with Peer Mentors who guide and assist them through rehearsals and join them on stage for the production. Started in Peoria, Illinois in 2004, The Penguin Project has become a national program with 26 replication sites in 15 states throughout the country. 

Director Jaclyn Loewenstein says, “It’s an honor to be the first local theatre company to bring Frozen, Jr. to the stage, and even more of an honor to work with our community of ‘Penguins,’ who bring so much passion and joy to the production experience.”

Do you want to build a snowman? You’ll love this fanciful and heartwarming stage adaptation of the top-grossing animated film of all time! Join Anna, Elsa, and all of your favorite characters as they embark on an epic, ice-filled journey of self-discovery, camaraderie, and the real meaning of true love. Adapted for young performers, this musical includes favorite Frozen songs such as “Love Is an Open Door,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” and “Let It Go,” as well as wonderful new songs from the Broadway production. With its empowering message of love and understanding, Frozen Jr. is sure to melt your heart!

The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company is community theatre for the community, by the community, since 1991. For more information on CUTC or to purchase tickets, please visit cutheatreco.org