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Unique stage show stars exceptional cast

Why theatre?

Of all the hobbies and skill sets to pursue, why is a group of young adults with exceptionalities choosing theatre?

“I think it’s fun, it’s challenging and it builds self-esteem,” says Holly Wenning, the writer, producer and director behind the upcoming stage production “I Feel Like Dancing” featuring 16 young adults ages 21 – 42.

Being on stage is a unique opportunity that most of the participants seldom have, said Wenning. 

Performing in front of an audience and using a microphone to deliver lines and tell jokes is an experience like little else.

“And parents love it because they get to see their children on stage getting applause.”

“We all love putting the show together,” said Wenning. “It’s an incredibly positive experience.”

This is the second year that Wenning has teamed up with a group of 12 volunteers who help with rehearsals, sound, lighting, choreography and onstage during the one-hour production.

Wenning’s hardworking cast weaves seven scenes in-between high energy dance numbers like “Better When I’m Dancing” by Meghan Trainor, “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, and of course “I Feel Like Dancing” by Jason Mraz. 

Wenning, who has 30-plus years of award-winning theatre experience, worked in the past on several stage productions at Pathways Health Centre where the participants are younger.  When they age-out of Pathways, there are not a lot of activities available in Sarnia for those with exceptionalities, apart from the Special Olympics.

So Wenning took it upon herself to create a theatre production that provides a chance to shine and make friends during weeks of rehearsals.

“The cast members are all very close,” said Wenning. “This gives them such a sense of community. They are so excited to be a part of it.”

Interlaced among the dance numbers are a couple of guest performances including dancer Sarah Milligan, and singers Amy Mayea, Orley Culverhouse and Riley Martin. 

Tickets are on sale now at Harbour Bay Clothing or from a cast member. Last year’s two shows nearly sold out.

This year’s cast includes Brett Anderson, Morgan D’Hooghe, Jake Holubeshen, Owen Holubeshen, Samantha Kuindersma, Heather McAllister, Marissa McDougall, Kyrsten Moore, David Redmond, Dan Robar, Angie Sauve, Zackery Visser, Sydney Vroylk, Jenny White, Sara Yates and Edward Zalewski.   



WHAT: “I Feel Like Dancing,” a celebration of music & dance by young adults with exceptionalities.
WHEN: June 14 @ 7 p.m. and June 15 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Sarnia Library Auditorium
TICKETS: $15 each (cash only). Available at Harbour Bay Clothing on Front Street or a cast member.