Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making Magic: 'I did it, Papi!'

NYC - P94M has only 60 students in their population. Each student is a special needs student. Because of the desire to use the autistic children as well as the other special needs kids, the school's lead teacher Ms. Derfner chose WILLY WONKA JR. because a group of characters don't have to a lot of script to recite, but they get to be on stage and to interact and perform. Auditioning was difficult. It's very hard for these children to show emotion, no less learn lines or sing songs or look at each other. It is not the electrifying competitive "I've seen this on Glee" experience that you would find in a typical middle or high school. Those school shows seem to produce happy, positive results. But how do you do it at "94"?
[...] One of the Oompa Loompas (a little boy who is Autistic and really non-verbal) is so pleased at his success that when he finishes one of his dances, (in the middle of the show,) he looks down at the audience and shouts, "I did it, Papi!" The audience responds, cheers in kind yells, "Go star!" "You're beautiful!"

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