After a two year hiatus, the SAAC will produce a new Penguin Project play, “Honk, Jr.”. Lynn Gunter, who has directed many times on the SAAC stage, will serve as director for this special project, along with Cassie Hickman, who has worked with SAAC as well, as music director. Sponsored by LANXESS, the production will run September 14 and 15, 2018.
“I love working with children,” Gunter said. “They are capable of great quality theatre when they are encouraged, instructed, pushed, stretched, and held accountable. Through that process, seeing a child rise up to the potential they know they have and seeing the pride they hold in their eyes from such hard work motivates me to work hard for them. It is my strong desire to give young people opportunities to perform in safe surroundings, both in content and influence. Penguin Project fits right in with that goal.”
Gunter is a resident of Huttig, where her husband is pastor of Huttig First Baptist Church. She is also the K4-12th Grade music teacher for WSCS. Her favorite productions that she has directed have been “Alice in Wonderland, JR” (2015) with the local homeschool group, “Fiddler on the Roof” (2017) and “The Crucible” (2016) with the SAAC Teen Drama Club, and “Bible Truths with Dr. Seuss” (2018) at WSCS. Gunter has a BA in Speech Communications, traveled the Tri-State and national collegiate circuit in forensics and debate, and has directed 8 productions on the SAAC stage, 4 productions at Westside Christian School, and countless VBS productions in various churches.
Hickman has been involved at SAAC for years, also, having been the music director for many of the area home school productions, including “Alice In Wonderland”, “Into The Woods”, “Godspell”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Music Man”. Hickman had two years’ experience in theatre in high school and some in college, as well, and also led the musical part of worship services for Cross Life Church for 5 years. She has a 14 year old daughter who is interested in drama, and that is what brought Hickman back to the theatre. “I love to see the kids ‘get’ the music and be able to give it back to the audience so they ‘get it’, too.”
The Penguin Project is a unique opportunity for children with special needs to perform in a live stage production in front of an audience. Through targeted outreach, special needs children are recruited as artists and cast in the production, from starring roles to ensemble. Each special-needs artist is paired with a mentor of similar age, who guides them through the production from start to finish, helping them learn lines, dances, songs, and blocking. The children operate as a pair throughout the entire process and appear on stage together, resulting in a full theatrical performance, with costumes, sets, and music.
For more information about Penguin Project or this production, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474