MANATEE COUNTY - Taking a look behind the scenes at Manatee Performing Arts Center's Penguin Program shows a promising initiative with a lot of interest. 

The nationally acclaimed initiative points the theatre spotlight on artists with special needs, and much to the delight of MPAC’s artistic director Rick Kerby, the Suncoast will finally have its time to shine.

The Penguin Project will have two sets of groups, each thespian mentored by a seasoned Suncoast actor. One group will consist of performers cast from ages 8-22 and the second from ages 22 and up. And it may be far away but these musical theatre buffs are dancing down easy street ready for their big performance.  

Of course, turning this vision into a reality takes talent, time, teamwork and money. That’s why we’ve decided to make the Penguin Project this month’s Helping Hand sponsored by Carl Reynolds Law.

Ultimately Kerby wants to see the program flourish, and change lives. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar, this will. 

'Annie Kids' dances its way to the stage May 14-17. Visit MPAC for more details on the program and ticket information.