On Friday, the curtain will rise and the lights will illuminate the stage for the original performance of "Puff the Magic Dragon." YNN's Cara Thomas introduces us to a group of men and women with developmental disabilities who are getting their chance to shine.
CLINTON, N.Y. -- Every year for 15 years, Freddie Sebastian has participated in a Stageworks performance.
"I went for the tryouts and I got in and I've been in it ever since we started," he said.
The group performs a different show every year. This time, they're performing an original musical called "Puff the Magic Dragon."
Sebastian said, "I'm playing the Duke in the Royal family in the show and I also have a solo which I'm singing 'Sunshine on my Shoulders Make Me Happy'."
Stageworks is a program run through the Oneida and Lewis County ARC. It's an opportunity for men and women with developmental disabilities to show their artistic potential, through performance or stage crew.
Roxanne Vasilopoulos, Adults Respite Programs Coordinator with the ARC, said, "It gives them a lot of self confidence. They're seeing that they can do what anyone else can do. It creates friendships, some of our people have done it for many years so they look forward to the new people that join and they're old friends they see year after year."
Like any show, the cast has spent weeks rehearsing. They've memorized their lines, learned the songs and the footwork. Now, the cast says they can't wait to show the audience what they've learned.
"Tonight's the rehearsal and then tomorrow and then Friday's the show. And then I'm all ready to start against next year for the other one," said Sebastian.
Their performance of "Puff the Magic Dragon" will be Friday September 20 at 7 p.m. at the Clinton Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be sold at the door.